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Passing of Former State Services Commissioner Robin Williams


18 March 2013

Statement on the Passing of Former State Services Commissioner Dr Robert (Robin) Williams

State Services Commissioner and Head of State Services Iain Rennie today expressed his condolences on the passing of former Chairman of the State Services Commission Dr Robert (Robin) Williams. Mr Williams was 93.

“Dr. Williams was a distinguished New Zealander who has maintained an active interest in public administration and state sector reform, including the many productive years following his time as State Services Commissioner,” Mr Rennie said.

Mr Rennie said he values the conversations he had with Dr Williams who shared his experiences, knowledge and wisdom generously.

“We were looking forward to welcoming Robin as our distinguished guest at the Centenary celebrations of the State Services Commission later this year,” Mr Rennie said.

“On behalf of the Commission, I send my deepest sympathies to the family of Dr Williams.”

Born in Christchurch in 1919, Dr Williams served as State Services Commissioner from 1975 to 1981. Prior to that, he was Vice Chancellor at the University of Otago from 1967 to 1972 and Vice Chancellor of the Australian National University in Canberra from 1973 to 1975.

A scientist early in his career, he worked in the Applied Mathematics Laboratory of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research and was seconded to a British government team working on the atomic bomb in the United States in what was known as the Manhattan Project in 1944.

Williams married Mary Thorpe in 1944 and the couple had three children.

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