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Secretary For Justice Resigns

Mediacom-State-Services-Commissioner Secretary For Justice

The State Services Commissioner, Michael Wintringham, announced today that the Secretary for Justice and chief executive of the Ministry of Justice, Colin Keating, would be resigning to become a partner with the public law specialists Chen & Palmer.

Mr Keating will leave the Ministry of Justice in late October. He was appointed to the Ministry three years ago. "At that time, in 1997, Mr Keating indicated to me that he saw his role at the Ministry as a three to four year one," Mr Wintringham said.

"As Secretary for Justice, Mr Keating has led the development of policy and legislation on critical and difficult questions in justice and in the justice system. In criminal justice, he has developed the Ministry's capability to analyse long-term data in order to support policy development and the evaluation of the effectiveness of policy.

"He has consolidated and repositioned the Ministry of Justice following the 1994/5 restructuring of the justice sector. Under Mr Keating's leadership, the Ministry has developed its role as a lead agency in the justice sector. He has also managed, successfully, the major shift in approach to justice policy that has come under the newly-elected Government.

"At a personal level, Mr Keating has built a reputation for his intellectual capability and strategic leadership in policy, and for building external relationships."

"Mr Keating's skills and experience, in international law, public policy, and diplomacy, are in demand. It is an acknowledgement of the capability of senior public servants that he is to become a partner in a high-profile public law practice," Mr Wintringham said.

Mr Keating, who has degrees in law and politics, has had a 30- year career in the Public Service, most of it in foreign affairs. Mr Keating was New Zealand's Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN) between 1993 and 1996, and he represented New Zealand on the UN Security Council between 1993 and 1994. He has served as a diplomat in Apia, London, and Washington.

During his term as the director of the foreign affairs legal division, he was seconded to work on major domestic law projects. He served as New Zealand legal counsel in the Rainbow Warrior negotiations and subsequent international legal proceedings.

Advertising for a new Secretary for Justice is likely to begin next month.


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