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Ministry For The Environment CEO Resignation

Chief Executive Resignation: Ministry For The Environment

The State Services Commissioner, Michael Wintringham, announced today that the chief executive of the Ministry for the Environment, Denise Church, has resigned.

Mr Wintringham said: "Ms Church has told me that the top priority in her life now is her two-year-old daughter. She would like a better balance between her professional life and her role as a parent.

"This week Ms Church has been appointed a member of the board of Landcare, a Crown research institute providing research and services in the sustainable management of land. She plans to pursue her career largely via that means, while spending more time with her family.

"Ms Church has had a 20-year career working in the environment sector, and I am particularly pleased that her extensive skills and experience in that area will continue to be utilised by the Government," Mr Wintringham said.

Ms Church has been the chief executive at the Ministry since 1996. She worked in the United Kingdom between 1990 and 1996. Earlier she worked for the Ministry for the Environment, the Ministry of Works and Development, and the Wellington Regional Council. She has Masters degrees from the University of Wisconsin and Canterbury University.

Mr Wintringham said that, under Ms Church's leadership, the Ministry had consolidated its role as a policy advisor to Government on the environment. The Ministry has published the 'State of the Environment Report' (1997), which was acknowledged as the most comprehensive stocktake ever undertaken of the New Zealand environment.

The Ministry also managed the establishment of the Environmental Risk Management Authority (ERMA), a new agency, in 1996, that manages the status of hazardous substances and organisms in New Zealand. Ms Church has also led efforts in improving community consultation, and public dialogue, in the Rio+10 programme.

Ms Church will step down from the chief executive's position in August. The deputy head of the Ministry, Lindsay Gow, will be the acting chief executive. The process for appointing a permanent chief executive will begin shortly.


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