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Appointment To Ministry For Culture And Heritage

Mediacom-State-Services-Commissioner

The State Services Commissioner, Michael Wintringham, announced today that Martin Matthews had been appointed the chief executive of the Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Mr Matthews, who is a former Assistant Auditor-General, has been the acting chief executive of the Ministry since 1 July 1998.

Mr Matthews was appointed after the chief executive position was advertised, under section 35 of the State Sector Act 1988, and a full appointment process was completed.

"The Ministry for Culture and Heritage lies at the centre of a system of Crown entities, community organisations, and commercial organisations," Mr Wintringham said.

"The Ministry has responsibilities that extend across the sector in, for example, contract management, external relationships, and policy advice.

"Mr Matthews has an extensive knowledge of the workings of the State sector - particularly Crown entities - and he is an excellent manager of external relationships.

"He is experienced in providing policy advice on complex problems, and on the practical implications and implementation of public policy," Mr Wintringham said. "He recognises and understands the role of arts, culture, broadcasting and heritage in defining the life of a nation."

Mr Matthews has a BA (Hons) in economics from the University of Otago. He was appointed an Assistant Auditor-General in 1990. In that role, he advised parliamentary select committees on a range of matters, including the performance of Government departments and Crown entities. He was a member of the small team of advisors who designed the Public Finance Act 1989, and he advised the parliamentary select committee that considered that legislation.

As the acting chief executive of the Ministry, he has managed an expansion of the department, so that it takes a broader view of arts, culture, broadcasting, and heritage in projecting and reflecting New Zealand and New Zealanders.

The Ministry has inherited the heritage and history roles that were in the Department of Internal Affairs, and it now advises the Minister of Broadcasting on the role of broadcasting in reflecting New Zealand culture. Since early this year, the Ministry has grown from 12 staff to 55. The Ministry manages about $155 million in funds that are spent through Crown entities and other organisations.

Mr Matthews also worked closely on the cultural recovery package, which was announced by the Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, Rt Hon Helen Clark, earlier this year.

Ends

Further information: Owen Gill, State Services Commission,

ph 04 495 6609.

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