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Our Government Statistician

Image: government statistician.

Liz MacPherson

Liz MacPherson is a public servant with 24 years experience, including a decade working at senior leadership level in the public sector.

The breadth and scope of Liz’s experience brings a new perspective to her role as the Government Statistician. Liz is passionate about evidence-driven decision-making and sees her role is to ensure New Zealand decision-makers at all levels have access to quality information.

“Statistics are only valuable if people use them. We collect and analyse them, and it’s vital we make them available in the ways people want them.

“We want the outside world to know what data we have and to use it. If we understand our customers' needs, we can produce more relevant products and services that are used to make better decisions.

“If we understand our suppliers' environment, we can better manage their delivery of data and negotiate solutions.

“If we understand what drives our stakeholders, we can collaborate for success.” 

Liz was appointed to the role of Government Statistician and Chief Executive of Statistics NZ in August 2013.

Before joining Statistics NZ, Liz held several senior roles over a 20-year period at the Department of Labour, the Ministry of Economic Development (MED), and more recently the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).

As a Deputy Secretary and member of the Executive Leadership Team at MED, Liz led three branches, covering various policy and regulatory areas including tourism, consumer affairs, major events, regulatory policy, small- and medium-sized enterprises, environmental regulation, and energy safety.

Liz was Acting Chief Executive of MED in the lead-up to MBIE’s formation. As a member of the new MBIE Establishment Executive Leadership Team, she led the Labour part of the MBIE ‘federation’. When the new MBIE structure was introduced in November 2012, Liz became MBIE’s Deputy Chief Executive Strategy and Governance. This role involved shaping MBIE’s strategy and direction and responsibility for the Government’s Business Growth Agenda and MBIE’s Canterbury Economic Recovery work.

Liz joined the public sector with a strong appetite to make a difference. Despite being a self-confessed geek, she is very much a people person with a strong pragmatic side. She enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, and sharing good food with friends and family. In her (rare) spare time, Liz coaches netball, and as a trained opera singer has been known to shine during organisational Christmas carol performances.

Duties of the Government Statistician

Section 14 of the Statistics Act 1975 sets out the duties of the Government Statistician.

Statutory Independence of the Government Statistician

Section 15 of the Statistics Act 1975 gives the Government Statistician sole responsibility for statistical processes.

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