State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes has today announced the appointment of Ms Iona Holsted as Secretary for Education and Chief Executive of the Ministry of Education.

“This is a very important role for New Zealand and the Public Service,” Mr Hughes said.

“I am very pleased to appoint Ms Holsted to this role. She is a highly respected and experienced Public Service Chief Executive with a real passion for education,” he said.

Ms Holsted is currently Chief Review Officer and Chief Executive of the Education Review Office (ERO). Before joining ERO she held senior leadership roles in the Ministry of Social Development, most recently as Deputy Chief Executive, Students, Seniors and Integrity Services. She was also a Deputy Commissioner at the State Services Commission for six years. Ms Holsted started her working career as a primary school teacher in Auckland.

“Ms Holsted has led ERO very effectively since 2014 and, in that role, has made a significant contribution to the leadership of the education sector,” said Mr Hughes.

“She is very committed to improving educational outcomes for New Zealand’s children and young people, especially for Māori and Pacific learners,” he said.

“Ms Holsted has the leadership skills, experience and personal integrity to gain the trust and respect of the education sector and work with them to deliver better educational outcomes,” said Mr Hughes.

“Ms Holsted has a successful track record of delivering results in corporate, policy and operational roles in large and complex organisations,” he said. 

Ms Holsted has been appointed for five years from 5 December 2016.

Katrina Casey will remain as Acting Secretary for Education until Ms Holsted takes up her role.

“I would particularly like to thank Ms Casey for her service as Acting Secretary for Education. Ms Casey is a very capable Public Service leader who has provided strong and effective leadership to the sector and the Ministry of Education through the recruitment process,” Mr Hughes said.

The process to appoint a new Chief Review Officer for ERO is now underway.

An Acting Chief Review Officer will be appointed in the near future.

ENDS

A photograph of Ms Holsted is available. Please email ssc-media@ssc.govt.nz to receive a copy.

Media contact: Tim Ingleton (04) 495 6648

Biography

Iona Holsted is currently Chief Review Officer and Chief Executive of the Education Review Office. She was appointed to this role in July 2014.

Between 2007 and 2014 Ms Holsted held four senior management roles at the Ministry of Social Development, most recently as Deputy Chief Executive, Students, Seniors and Integrity Services.  In this role she was responsible for services to seniors (superannuation payments), Studylink, and the integrity of the benefit system.

Ms Holsted also spent six years as a Deputy Commissioner at the State Services Commission.

She started her career as a primary school teacher in Auckland, later becoming an advocate and researcher for the Public Service Association and then as General Manager of a community controlled primary health care organisation.

Ms Holsted has completed an executive leadership programme at the INSEAD Business School, and studied strategic leadership at Oxford University.

She has been a mentor with the New Zealand Institute of Management since 2007, a Member of the Executive Leadership Learning Network and has served on Barnardos and YMCA Greater Wellington Boards.

Ms Holsted has a Higher Diploma of Teaching from Victoria University of Wellington and trained as a teacher at Waikato College of Teacher Education.

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