October 06, 2021
New role to push Māori in public service
The new statutory deputy public service commissioner says as the first Māori appointed to the role she is looking forward to helping government agencies improve the way they serve Māori.
Heather Baggott has connections to Ngāti Maniapoto and Te Ātiawa.
She’s been the deputy commissioner for leadership, diversity and inclusion after a career that includes roles in the Ministry of Justice, the Office of Treaty Settlements and the Ministry for Culture and Heritage.
In the new role established under the Public Service Act 2020 she will work closely with the chief executives of Te Arawhiti, the Crown Māori Relations Ministry, and Te Puni Kokiri, the Ministry of Māori Development.
She says while there have been attempts in the past to bring about change, the new Act sets out for the first time the responsibilities of the public service for Māori.
“There’s a strong commitment from all the chief executives that we can no longer accept the current way, we want to commit to doing better and we are going to do that together, pooling our resource and our focus and building our capability, sharing what we are doing and learning as we go with a commitment improving going forward,” Ms Baggott says.
She’s keen to see more Māori in the public service and moving into senior leadership.