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New Privacy Commissioner appointed

New Privacy Commissioner appointed

Cabinet Secretary Marie Shroff has been appointed as the new Privacy Commissioner, Associate Justice Minister Lianne Dalziel announced today.

Marie Shroff will succeed retiring Privacy Commissioner Bruce Slane. Marie Shroff is expected to take up her new role in September.

Lianne Dalziel said the appointment followed a rigorous selection process from among a number of highly qualified applicants.

“Marie Shroff brings with her a formidable reputation from her role as Cabinet Secretary and her wide experience in a number of fields, including teaching and journalism,” Lianne Dalziel said.

“Her 15 years’ experience as Cabinet Secretary and Clerk of the Executive Council has seen her serve six Prime Ministers from both Labour and National parties, and four Governor-Generals. She has successfully supported Cabinet decision-making and constitutional developments under the changing environment of MMP, and published a fully revised version of the Cabinet Manual, the key guide to central government constitutional and administrative policy and practice.

“I look forward to Marie bringing to her new role as Privacy Commissioner her extensive experience in constitutional matters, government decision-making, and an ability to find an appropriate and practical balance on challenging and occasionally delicate issues.

Lianne Dalziel expressed her thanks to Bruce Slane who has served over a decade as Privacy Commissioner.

“Bruce Slane was appointed the first Privacy Commissioner and in that sense had to initiate and develop the role. He successfully established the Office of the Privacy Commissioner as a respected institution supporting the privacy rights and protections available to New Zealanders. He has a high level of dedication and professionalism, and his contribution is very much appreciated.

“I am particularly pleased that Bruce will preside over the 10th anniversary of the Privacy Act 1993, and I am sure that he will also be pleased that someone of Marie Shroff’s stature will carry on this role and that she will oversee the implementation of his recommendations to improve and refine New Zealand’s privacy laws.

“I wish Bruce well for the future. He has been utterly devoted in his service to the legal profession and the law, and I am sure he will continue to be so in whatever role the future holds for him,” Lianne Dalziel said.

Biographical Summary

Marie Shroff Secretary of the Cabinet

Marie Shroff was educated at Epsom Girls' Grammar School and Auckland University. During the early part of her career she worked with the Department of External Affairs, the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation, as a teacher in Western Samoa, and with the New Zealand Consulate General, in New York.

In 1978 she was appointed to the State Services Commission (SSC) and held positions including Director of Policy and Director of the State Enterprises Branch. From 1980-1982 she was seconded to the British Civil Service (Management and Personnel Office/Cabinet Office) and undertook a range of tasks focusing on the programme of civil service reform instituted by Prime Minister Thatcher and directed by Sir Derek Rayner. As Director of the State Enterprises Branch of the SSC from 1986 to 1987, she managed the officials process supporting the corporatisation of nine major state agencies in New Zealand, working to the Deputy Prime Minister as Chair of the Cabinet Committee on State Owned Enterprises.

In 1987 Marie Shroff was appointed as Secretary of the Cabinet and Clerk of the Executive Council. As Secretary of the Cabinet she is responsible for the operation of Cabinet and the Executive Council, and for related constitutional advice. Her responsibilities include Cabinet Office, Government House, the legislation programme, the Honours System, and the Cabinet Manual which is the guide to central government constitutional and administrative practice in New Zealand. Throughout her period as Secretary of the Cabinet she has undertaken and implemented major reforms of policy and practices in these areas of responsibility.

Marie Shroff was responsible for guiding the Cabinet Office and Government House through the transition to proportional representation and coalition government in New Zealand. She has worked with four Governors-General, six Prime Ministers, and governments of various parties, since she assumed office in 1987.

Marie Shroff has published speeches and articles on government and constitutional issues. She was awarded an Australia/New Zealand Foundation Fellowship in 1995 and a Chevening Fellowship in 2002, and is a member of the Board of the Equal Opportunities Trust.

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