State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes has today announced the appointment of Christine Stevenson as Comptroller of Customs and Chief Executive, New Zealand Customs Service.

“I am very pleased to appoint Ms Stevenson to this role,” the Commissioner said.

 “Ms Stevenson is a public servant with a depth of experience who has managed large functions and operations requiring strong leadership.  She has a proven track record of delivering.”

Ms Stevenson is currently the Acting Comptroller of Customs, a role she has been in since July 2017. Ms Stevenson’s substantive role is Deputy Chief Executive, Corrections, which she has held since January 2011. She has had a long and successful Public Service career, holding senior leadership roles with the Department of Corrections, the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Social Development. Ms Stevenson was also the Independent Ministerial Advisor to the Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission, Hon Megan Woods, on speeding up the resolution of outstanding insurance claims arising from the Canterbury earthquakes.

The Comptroller of Customs leads a department of approximately 1200 staff.  In 2018/19, the Customs operating budget was $230 million.


The Comptroller of Customs is responsible for leading and managing the department, in support of the Government’s economic and security objectives. The role advises the Government on border security, border management and customs revenue and works with international organisations and other jurisdictions to manage secure trade flows of people and goods globally.

“Ms Stevenson is a strong public service leader who leads with integrity and is driven by a spirit of service”, said Mr Hughes.

Ms Stevenson will take up the role on 1 January 2019 for five years.

Media enquiries : Grahame Armstrong: 021 940 457


  • Since July last year Ms Stevenson has been Acting Comptroller of Customs and Chief Executive New Zealand Customs Service.
  • Prior to this she was Independent Ministerial Adviser to the Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission.
  • From 2011 to 2017 Ms Stevenson was Deputy Chief Executive, Department of Corrections.
  • For two years (2009- 2011) she was Deputy Chief Executive Ministry of Justice.
  • Between 2004 and 2009 she was Deputy Chief Executive, People Capability and Resources at the Ministry of Social Development.
  • Ms Stevenson held a variety of senior roles at the Ministry of Social Development from 1999 and 2004, including Chief Information Officer and Chief Financial Officer.
  • Ms Stevenson has attended the Stanford Executive Programme (Strategy and Organisation) and the ANZSOG Executive Fellows Programme.
  • She is a Chartered Accountant and holds a Bachelor of Arts from Victoria University of Wellington.


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