Media statement from Mark Prebble, State Services Commissioner.
The State Services Commissioner, Mark Prebble, today announced the appointment of Stephen McKernan as Chief Executive and Director-General of the Ministry of Health. Mr McKernan is presently the Chief Executive of Counties Manukau District Health Board (DHB).
Mr McKernan has nearly eight years' experience as a DHB Chief Executive. Prior to Counties Manukau, he was Chief Executive Hutt Valley DHB, and Chief Executive of Hutt Valley Health.
During the 1990s he held a variety of general management roles in the health sector, including General Manager Primary, Community and Commercial Services at Northland Health and also participated in an exchange programme with England's National Health Service.
He has a Bachelor of Business Studies from Massey University and a Diploma in Public Health from the Royal Society of Health.
Mark Prebble says the position of Director-General of Health is one of the most demanding in the New Zealand Public Service.
"Stephen McKernan is a very experienced chief executive in the health sector and has the ability required to make a successful transition from the DHB environment to central government.
"He has the experience and skills required for this position. In his current role he is responsible for 5,600 staff and a total budget of $930 million. His experience as chief executive has included successfully managing change programmes, strategic planning, delivering on business goals and building relationships with health sector stakeholders.
"Stephen McKernan has a good understanding of the issues facing the Ministry of Health and the wider health sector. He is widely respected within the sector and will be able to build on the achievements of the previous Chief Executive, Dr Karen Poutasi.
"Stephen McKernan will take up his role on 31 July 2006," Mark Prebble said.