21 December 2022

Deputy Public Service Commissioner Ms Heather Baggott has today announced the appointment of Ms Gerardine Clifford-Lidstone to the position Secretary for Pacific Peoples and Chief Executive, Ministry for Pacific Peoples.

Gerardine Clifford Lidstone

The Ministry for Pacific Peoples is the Crown’s principal advisor on policies and interventions aimed at improving outcomes for Pacific peoples in Aotearoa New Zealand.

The Secretary for Pacific Peoples leads and manages advice to the Government on policies and interventions to promote the social, economic and cultural wellbeing of Pacific peoples in New Zealand.

“I’m very pleased to appoint Ms Clifford-Lidstone to this role,” Ms Baggott said.

“She is a respected, proven senior leader with a track record of delivering results for the communities she serves.”

Ms Clifford-Lidstone is currently Director Pacific Health at the Ministry of Health, a role she has held since 2020. Ms Clifford-Lidstone was previously General Manager, Child Youth, Localities and Family Harm at the Capital and Coast District Health Board from 2019-2020. She has held several community governance roles, including Chair of the Wellington Community Trust, and was Chief Executive of a Pacific social service and health provider based in Porirua. 

Ms Baggott said Ms Clifford-Lidstone is a collaborative, experienced leader in the Public Service and across the community and non-government sector, with a deep knowledge of the challenges and opportunities facing Pacific peoples in Aotearoa New Zealand.

“Ms Clifford-Lidstone’s leadership is underpinned by strong Pacific values and is well-prepared to lead the Ministry for Pacific Peoples.”

Ms Clifford-Lidstone  holds a Bachelor of Arts from Victoria University of Wellington and a Master of Business Administration from Massey University’s Graduate School of Business.

She has been appointed for five years from 1 February 2023.



Ms Clifford-Lidstone is currently Director of Public Health at the Ministry of Health Manatū Hauora, a role she has held since 2020.

From 2019 to 2020 she was General Manager Child, Youth, Localities and Family Harm; Strategy, Innovation and Improvement at the Capital and Coast District Health Board.

For three years (2015-2018) she a self-employed consultant and from 2012 to 2014 she was a senior consultant at Pacific Perspectives Limited.

Between 2010 and 2012 Ms Clifford-Lidstone was the National Programme Manager, Sector Capability and Improvement at the Ministry of Health.

For nine years (2001-2010) she was chief executive at Taeaomanino Trust.

Ms Clifford-Lidstone started her public service career at the Department of Labour in 1992, undertaking a number of roles up to 2001.

She was chair of the Wellington Community Trust from 2010 to 2018 and has been a trustee for the Pacific Cooperation Foundation (2016-2019) and Barnardo’s National Trust (2009-2012).

Ms Clifford-Lidstone holds an MBA from Massey University, a Bachelor of Arts from Victoria University and is both a Winston Churchill Fellow and Salzberg Global Seminar Fellow.


Media queries: Grahame Armstrong 021 940 457 or media@publicservice.govt.nz