Mary Harris, Clerk of the House of Representatives
13 December 2007
Clerk of the House of Representatives
Mary Harris, former Deputy Clerk of the House of Representatives, has been appointed Clerk of the House of Representatives.
Ms Harris has been Acting Clerk since the resignation of former Clerk David McGee CNZM, QC, in November. Her new appointment takes effect immediately and is for seven years.
The Speaker, Hon Margaret Wilson, said Ms Harris began her parliamentary career in 1987 and since then has led all the Office of the Clerk’s major operational divisions. She was appointed Clerk-Assistant (Select Committees) in 1990 and she has been a member of the senior management team since that time.
As Deputy Clerk of the House, she was responsible for the provision of secretariat services for the sittings of the House, parliamentary education and inter-parliamentary relations.
‘She led a restructuring of the Select Committee Office to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of service delivery in the new MMP environment,’ Ms Wilson said.
‘She also led the publishing projects that automated the arrangements for non-legislative printing.
‘Most recently she has led the implementation of a leadership development programme, as part of building professional and leadership capability within the Office of the Clerk.’
Ms Harris has represented the New Zealand Parliament at Commonwealth Parliamentary Association conferences for presiding officers and clerks, presenting a range of papers. She has also undertaken a New Zealand overseas aid project in Vanuatu to strengthen the role of the Parliament of the Republic of Vanuatu.
She began her working life as a violinist in the Wellington Regional Orchestra and teaching the violin. Earlier in her career, she worked in the Department of Statistics, conducting reviews of statistics and developing the Household Labour Force Survey.