The State Services Commissioner, Iain Rennie, today announced that David Smol has been appointed inaugural Chief Executive of the new Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).

Mr Smol has been Acting Chief Executive of MBIE since April this year and prior to that was the Chief Executive of the former Ministry of Economic Development.  In this new role, his contract runs until June 2017 

The Government established MBIE on 1 July 2012 bringing together all the existing functions of the former Ministry of Economic Development, Ministry of Science and Innovation, Department of Labour, and Department of Building and Housing.

As Chief Executive, Mr Smol will continue the work of integrating the four former agencies into an efficient and effective single Ministry, maximising the synergies arising from the integration of policy, regulatory and service delivery functions.

Mr Rennie said that Mr Smol has the skills and experience to “step up” to successfully lead the transformational change required in MBIE.

“Under David’s leadership, the former Ministry of Economic Development  has successfully provided advice on microeconomic policy development and complex regulatory issues and has improved service delivery while reducing costs,”

“He has also undertaken demanding roles which required strong leadership, change management and negotiation skills. I am confident that as Chief Executive he will ensure that MBIE provides a high level of sector leadership along with innovative policy advice and cost-effective service delivery that will support New Zealand’s economic growth,” Mr Rennie said. 

The Chief Executive of MBIE will lead approximately 3,500 staff located in offices throughout New Zealand and overseas.  MBIE has an annual expenditure of around $660 million and administers non-departmental appropriations of $4.0 billion.

Mr Smol will continue to lead the Better Public Services for Business works outlined in the Prime Minister’s Results for New Zealanders [ 1] and play a key role in supporting the Government’s Business Growth Agenda. 


Media enquiries:  Lisa-Marie Richan, Director, Communications 021 244 1361




David Smol was appointed Acting Chief Executive of the new Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment in April this year. 

Prior to this, Mr Smol was the Chief Executive of the Ministry of Economic Development (MED)

David joined MED in April 2003 as Deputy Secretary responsible for the Energy and Communications Branch.  The Branch provides policy advice to the Government in the areas of Energy, Telecommunications and Information Technology.  He was appointed the Ministry’s Chief Executive in 2008. 

Previously David was a director of an Oxford-based energy consulting firm, with clients in the UK and Europe, including large energy utilities and transmission companies, renewable energy generators, regulatory bodies and government departments.

From 1989-1997, David worked in New Zealand.  Initially he was an analyst and then manager in network industries at the Treasury. He was also secretary to the Trans Power Establishment Board, and spent three years at ECNZ, where he was seconded to the team that set up Contact Energy.

From 1984-1988 he worked for Conoco (UK) Limited, in upstream oil and gas.

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