State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes has today announced the appointment of Ms Gaye Searancke as Chief Executive, Land Information New Zealand (LINZ).  

Ms Searancke is currently Deputy Commissioner, Customer and Compliance Services – Business, at Inland Revenue, where she leads 1100 people. She has held this position since August 2017. Her key focuses in the role have been on improving customer experience, long-term compliance and championing a customer centric culture.

LINZ administers 15 Acts including the Public Works Act 1981, the Land Act 1948 and the Land Transfer Act 1952.  The agency has four core functions: making geographic information accessible and useable; protecting New Zealanders’ property rights; ensuring the Crown Estate is sustainably managed; and ensuring international investments in our valued assets benefit New Zealand. The chief executive leads a department of approximately 600 staff with a budget of about $600 million.   

The role became vacant last December when Mr Andrew Crisp was appointed to the position of Chief Executive, Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (MHUD). Ms Lisa Barrett has been the Acting Chief Executive since last August. Mr Hughes said Ms Barrett was a real asset to the Public Service and thanked her for doing an excellent job.

Ms Searancke has held senior leadership roles across the Public Service, including with the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC), the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and the Ministry of Economic Development. In her previous role at ACC, Ms Searancke led Strategy and Governance and, as a member of the Executive Team, oversaw a whole-of-organisation transformation effort.

Mr Hughes said Ms Searancke is an experienced public service leader and a strategic thinker with a solid track record in developing and implementing complex strategy at scale.

“Ms Searancke is a perceptive, empowering leader who focuses on people,” said Mr Hughes.

“Through her collaborative leadership, she has delivered system and customer outcomes for both her organisation and across government. She is comfortable managing complex and sensitive issues and working with multiple ministers. 

“She knows how to get the job done and will be an asset to the public service chief executive team.”

Ms Searancke holds a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) from the University of Otago and attended the Australia and New Zealand School of Government, Executive Fellows Programme in 2014.  

She has been appointed for five years from 19 August 2019. 


Media queries: Grahame Armstrong 021 940 457



Ms Searancke has been at Inland Revenue in the role of Deputy Commissioner, Customer and Compliance Services – Business since 2017.

Between 2014 and 2017 she was Chief Governance and Strategy Officer at Accident Compensation Corporation.

For two years (2012–2014) she was Deputy Chief Executive, Labour and Commercial Environment Group at Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).

From 2009-2012 Ms Searancke Deputy Secretary roles at the Ministry of Economic Development - Deputy Secretary Competition, Trade and Investment and Deputy Secretary Organisational Development and Support.

From 2002-2009 Ms Searancke held a number of senior leadership roles at the Ministry of Social Development and the Ministry of Economic Development.

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