Mr Peter Hughes CNZMState Services Commissioner and Head of State Services
“I strongly believe in the ideal of public service and I have devoted the whole of my working life to it. It is a privilege to serve as State Services Commissioner.” Peter Hughes
Peter started at the State Services Commission in July 2016. He has had a career spanning more than thirty-five years in various roles across the state sector, most recently serving as Secretary for Education from 2013.
Peter began his career as a clerk with the Department of Social Welfare. He was promoted through policy and operational leadership positions before entering executive level management in the New Zealand Income Support Service. He then served as Deputy Director-General of Health, Chief Executive of the Health Funding Authority and Secretary for Internal Affairs.
In 2001 he was appointed Chief Executive of the Ministry of Social Development, New Zealand's largest government department. He held this role for ten years before becoming Professor of Public Management and Head of the School of Government at Victoria University of Wellington from 2011 to 2013.
Peter attended Victoria and Massey Universities and holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Harvard University, completed while studying as a Harkness Fellow of the Commonwealth Fund of New York.
He is a fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Management and of the New Zealand Institute of Public Administration. In 2010 Peter was made a Hunter Fellow for services to Victoria University, and he is also a Fellow of the Australia and New Zealand School of Government.
Peter was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2012 for services to the State, and in 2013 was voted Wellingtonian of the Year in the Government category.
Ms Debbie PowerDeputy State Services Commissioner
Debbie took up the role of Deputy State Services Commissioner moving from the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) where she was Deputy Chief Executive for Service Delivery.
During her time at MSD Debbie oversaw the implementation of Welfare Reform and the movement of social housing needs assessments from Housing New Zealand to MSD.
Prior to that Debbie was in the role of Deputy Chief Executive and Director of the Office of the Chief Executive. This role worked closely with the Chief Executive and the rest of the Ministry’s Leadership Team.
Debbie has had extensive experience working for four years as a Senior Private Secretary in Parliament where she oversaw the interface between the Department and ministers, between 2007-2010.
Her previous experience includes a years' secondment to the UK, regional leadership experience in Northland and she has a Masters in Public Administration.
Mr Lewis HoldenDeputy Commissioner, Auckland
Lewis was appointed Deputy Commissioner Auckland in March 2015 after being the Chief Executive of the Ministry for Culture and Heritage from June 2009.
Prior to this Lewis spent eight years in senior roles at the Ministry of Economic Development's including as Head of Economic Strategy and Deputy Secretary of the Ministry's Industry and Regional Development Branch. Before joining MED Lewis had an extensive career with the Treasury. Between 1999 and 2001 he was the Alternative Executive Director at the World Bank in Washington DC. Lewis has also worked as an Advisor with the Policy Advisory Group in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet as well as periods with the Department of Internal Affairs and the Royal Commission on the Electoral System.
Lewis holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in History and Politics from Victoria University of Wellington, a Diploma of Journalism from the University of Canterbury and a Master of Public and Private Management from Yale University in the United States of America.
Before joining the Public Service he worked as a documentary film maker.
Ms Rachel BruceDeputy Commissioner | Corporate Services
Rachel joined the Commission in April 2015 from the Ministry of Social Development where she was the Manager of Finance Strategy. In this role, she built baseline models to enable the Ministry to make informed investment decisions, supported strategic change programmes, lead the finance streams for the external Budget process, and coordinated capital investment planning to enable service delivery strategies.
She has over 25 years' experience in the Public Sector across a number of departments. Rachel held senior roles at MSD including National Finance Director for Work and Income, Business Sustainability Director for Students, Seniors and Integrity Services, and National Manager of the Integrity Intervention Centre. Prior to MSD, she worked at the Ministry of Justice as Finance Manager and the Office of Treaty Settlements where she managed the implementation of the Tainui and Ngai Tahu treaty settlements.
Rachel has a BSc (Hons) in Management Sciences from the Loughborough University in the United Kingdom, is a Chartered Accountant and holds a certificate as a black belt in Lean Six Sigma. Rachel is an alumni of the ANZSOG Executive Fellows programme.
Ms Hannah CameronDeputy Commissioner | Strategy & Policy
“I am motivated by a desire to connect thinking and problem-solving across government to deliver better results for New Zealanders.” Hannah Cameron
Hannah joined the SSC in April 2018, having previously held the role of Deputy Chief Policy Officer at the Ministry of Health.
Hannah came to New Zealand from the United Kingdom in 2004, in search of a home where she could continue to work at the centre of policy-making and democracy, but also have easy access to the great outdoors. She found Island Bay, Wellington, and has not looked back since. She believes that New Zealand can be a wonderful place to raise a family, and is frustrated that not all New Zealanders have equal access to a safe and fulfilling life.
Hannah has worked in the New Zealand public service for 14 years in government departments that also include the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Justice and Department of Internal Affairs. During that time, she has worked on policy issues as varied as family violence, organ donation, special education and medicinal cannabis, building a strong network of colleagues across government.
Hannah grew up in Nottingham, has a MA in social and political sciences from the University of Cambridge and spent the first part of her career in London as part of the UK Government’s Fast Stream programme.
Ms Dallas WelchDeputy Commissioner | System & Agency Performance
Dallas Welch has been a public servant for over 30 years. Many of these years were with Statistics New Zealand where she has led, as a Deputy Government Statistician, most of the statistical and corporate functions, including being CIO and organisation change programmes. She has twice acted as Government Statistician and Chief Executive between permanent appointments. In 2012 Dallas managed the Performance Improvement Framework reviews of the State Services Commission (SSC) and the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. Most recently, she has acted as Chief Executive of the Ministry of Women's Affairs.
Dallas has a Master of Commerce (Hons) in economics and a teaching diploma (with distinction). She is married to John and has an adult son and daughter-in-law.
Ms Dale FarrarDeputy Commissioner | Workforce & Talent Management
"Our people are our biggest asset. I'm committed to an inclusive and diverse public sector that enables our people to reach their full potential, giving us better services for all New Zealanders." Dale Farrar
Dale joined the State Services Commission in June 2017, having specialised in strategic people leadership in both public and private sector organisations.
Her public service career began as a solicitor for the Ministry of Education and she's spent close to 17 years in government agencies.
Dale's expertise spans organisation development, talent management, people change management, leadership development, and employment relations strategy and practice.
She has held a number of senior executive human resource management roles in a diverse range of global and local industries, most recently as executive vice-president human resources at Fisher & Paykel Appliances.
Dale studied law, history and philosophy at Victoria University, graduating with an LLB and BA.
She is married with two daughters and two grandchildren.
Ms Catherine WilliamsDeputy Commissioner | Integrity, Ethics & Standards
Ms Kellie CoombesDirector, Office of the Head of State Services
Mr Ken StephenChief Legal Officer
Ken was seconded to the SSC in July 2018 from the Crown Law Office, where he has worked for the past eight years as Senior Crown Counsel.
Previous state sector roles include five years as the Chief Legal Advisor for the Department of Internal Affairs and three years in the Commerce Commission.
Before joining the state sector Ken worked in industry and private practice.
Ken graduated LLB from Auckland University and has lived in Wellington for 20 years.