July 31, 2019
Former soldier Samuels to head Māori ministry
A former Te Puni Kōkiri policy director has been brought back to run the Ministry for Māori Development.
David Tokohau Samuels from Tainui and Whakatōhea is currently the Ministry for Primary Industries’ deputy director general for China Relations, based at the New Zealand Embassy in Beijing.
He started his career as an infantry officer in the New Zealand Army, where he was awarded a commendation by the United Nations Commander Suai, East Timor for effective relationship management.
He worked for Te Puni Kōkiri from 2005 to 2012.
State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes says Mr Samuels was an accomplished senior leader with a solid understanding of the Public Sector and te ao Māori.
He is expected to influence the environment in which Te Puni Kōkiri operates, providing leadership to other government departments, Māori authorities, Māori organisations and iwi to help shape a public service that is more effective for Māori.
He replaces Michelle Hippolite, who has taken a role with Conservation.
Until he starts in September, Te Puni Kōkiri deputy chief executive Lisa Davies, will be the acting chief executive.
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