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Appointment Of Director Of Treaty Of Waitangi Unit

Media Release from the State Services Commissioner
Friday 12 September 2003


The State Services Commissioner, Michael Wintringham, today announced the appointment of Tia Barrett as Director of the Commission's Treaty of Waitangi Information Unit. Mr Barrett will be seconded to take up the role from his present position as Chief of Protocol and Director of Protocol Division at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The Treaty Information Unit is charged with managing and implementing an information programme to improve all New Zealander's knowledge of the Treaty.

Mr Wintringham says the Government's decision to implement this information programme reflects the importance the Treaty of Waitangi has in the past, present and future of all New Zealanders.

"It also reflects the reality that many people's understanding of the Treaty is partial and not necessarily based on fact."

Mr Wintringham says Mr Barrett has an outstanding track record as a senior public servant.

"Mr Barrett has a 30 year career with the New Zealand foreign service. His recent postings at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs include High Commissioner to Fiji, Nauru and Tuvalu and High Commissioner to the Solomon Islands. During 1990 - 1992 Mr Barrett established the first Kaupapa Maori Division for the Ministry of External Relations and Trade, which developed the Ministry's Treaty partner responsiveness programme," he said.

Mr Barrett's iwi affiliations are Ngati Maniapoto, Ngati Apakura and Ngati Rangimahora. Tainui is his ancestral waka.

Mr Wintringham also announced the members of the Treaty of Waitangi Public Information Programme's Advisory Board.

"The Advisory Board members have a range of specialist knowledge and skills that will assist the Director and me to help develop the programme and oversee its implementation. I am pleased that they have agreed to lend their skills to assist such an important initiative.

"The Board members are: myself (as Chair), Sir Paul Reeves, Professor James Belich, Mr Peter Biggs (Chair, Creative NZ), Ms Lynette Stewart (Chair, Northland District Health Board), Ms Belinda Clark (Secretary for Justice) and Mr Leith Comer (Chief Executive of Te Puni Kokiri).

"Mr Barrett will start as Director on 29 September," Mr Wintringham said.


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