New Ministry of Justice chief executive commences work

by Sol Dolor06 Feb 2019

Andrew Kibblewhite has commenced as the nation’s secretary of justice and chief executive of the Ministry of Justice.

The leader welcomed his new role at a pōwhiri held in Wellington on 1 February, when he officially succeeded Andrew Bridgman, who will commence as secretary of defence later this year.

“I’m both proud and excited to the joining the team at the Ministry of Justice. The warmth of the welcome was truly humbling,” he said.

Kibblewhite served as chief executive of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet since 2012. He takes the reins at the Ministry of Justice as the government gears up for major changes.

“The government has a significant agenda for change with reviews to reform both the criminal justice system and the family justice system currently in train.  There’s also a referendum on the use of cannabis, a new tribunal to address outstanding issues from the Canterbury earthquakes and ongoing measures to tackle New Zealand’s poor record of family and sexual violence, to name just some of the issues we’ll address in the next two years,” he said.

Feedback from employees of the Ministry of Justice will inform his leadership, he said.

“While I was welcomed at the Justice Centre in Wellington, I’m looking forward to meeting as many Ministry people as possible in the next few weeks,” he said. “The delivery of justice services to New Zealanders relies on thousands of ministry people working in courts and tribunals around the country. It’s important that I understand the work they do, how we support the judiciary and how we serve New Zealanders every day.”