State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes has today announced the appointment of Carolyn Tremain as Chief Executive of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).

“This is a very important role for New Zealand and the Public Service,” the Commissioner said.

“I am very pleased to appoint Ms Tremain to this role. She is a highly respected, experienced and very successful public service chief executive. She has over 20 years of experience in senior leadership roles in large, complex service delivery organisations in both the public and private sectors.”

MBIE is the Government’s primary economic, and business and consumer facing agency. Its purpose is to support economic growth, with a focus on lifting the country’s performance and outcomes for all New Zealanders. The chief executive leads a sizeable department, administers a complex set of regulatory and policy functions and oversees a budget of more than $8 billion across a workforce of more than 4500.

“Ms Tremain is a leader of high personal integrity and has a track record of leading and managing change in complex environments and driving performance improvement,” said Mr Hughes.

“As acting chief executive at MBIE, Ms Tremain has proven that she can provide strong and purposeful leadership and deliver on the priorities of 13 Ministers.”

In 2017, the Commissioner commenced a recruitment process for a new chief executive, MBIE, which was becoming vacant due to Mr David Smol’s term ending on 30 June 2017.

Ms Tremain has been appointed for five years from 20 August 2018.


A photograph of Ms Tremain is available. Please email to receive a copy.

Media enquiries: Grahame Armstrong: 021 940 457


Ms Tremain has been the Acting Chief Executive of the Ministry of Business, Employment and Innovation since 1 July 2017.

From 2011-2017 she was Comptroller of Customs and Chief Executive, New Zealand Customs Service.

Between 2004-2011 Ms Tremain was Deputy Commissioner Service Delivery at Inland Revenue and Deputy Commissioner People, Capabilities and Governance.

From 1990-2003 she held a number of roles at Air New Zealand, including Senior Vice President Human resources and Organisational Change.

Last modified: