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Tribute to outstanding public servant

4 December 2007

Tribute to outstanding public servant, John Belgrave

Prime Minister Helen Clark today paid tribute to the Chief Ombudsman John Belgrave, who passed away overnight.

“John Belgrave was an outstanding public servant, with a long and distinguished career of service to our country,” Helen Clark said.

“John Belgrave’s appointment as Chief Ombudsman capped a public service career spanning four decades, in which he contributed to New Zealand’s interests both at home and overseas.

“He served in diplomatic posts in London, Melbourne, and Tokyo, where he promoted New Zealand’s trade and economic development in the 1960s and 70s.

“His wide experience, knowledge, and intellect saw him lead five important government agencies at various times in his career. In 1985 he was appointed as Comptroller of Customs, in 1989 as Secretary of Commerce, in 1994 he became Secretary of Justice, and in 1999 he took the role of Chair of the Commerce Commission. In March 2003 he was appointed as Chief Ombudsman.

“He also served with distinction in the Department of Trade and Industry, the Standards Council, the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, the State Services Commission, and the Electoral Commission.

“As well, he made important contributions in the private sector, where he headed the Bankers Association and the Electricity Supply Association.

“John Belgrave was honoured in the New Years Honours 2007, becoming a Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

“John was an exceptional public servant, and a gentleman, and has given a lifetime of service. My thoughts today are with his wife Judy and his family,” Helen Clark said.

ENDS

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