The State Services Commissioner, Iain Rennie, and Education Chief Executive, Lesley Longstone, today announced the appointment of current Ministry of Women’s Affairs Chief Executive Rowena Phair to the position of Deputy Secretary, Student Achievement at the Ministry of Education.

In her new role Ms Phair will be responsible for raising student achievement levels, with a priority focus on achievement levels of Māori, Pasifika and learners with special education needs, and those from low socio-economic backgrounds. She will also have key accountability for managing the ministry’s sector wide relationship with key stakeholder groups.

“This is one of the most demanding roles in the education sector and Rowena’s previous experience in education, alongside her track record in her current position as Chief Executive of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs make her well qualified for this role,” said Ms Longstone.

Ms Phair has extensive experience in the public sector, having led senior teams at the Ministry of Education and The Treasury prior to her current Chief Executive position.

Under Ms Phair’s leadership, the Ministry of Women’s Affairs has undergone a significant transition. Women’s Affairs is now a top-rated policy agency, and is well-positioned to continue to have a positive impact on policy development.

Ms Phair begins her new role on June 5.

The process to recruit the new permanent Chief Executive of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs will be undertaken shortly, Mr Rennie said. Kim Ngarimu, currently Deputy Secretary at Te Puni Kokiri will be Acting Chief Executive in the interim.


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

Last modified: