Wellington Scoop

Al Morrison leaving Conservation Dept, joining State Services Commission

News from State Services Commission
Al Morrison has been appointed to the newly created role of Deputy Commissioner – Corporate Centre. Mr Morrison is currently Chief Executive of the Department of Conservation.

“The Department of Conservation is currently working on proposals for significant change and Mr Morrison is committed to supporting DOC staff and seeing the process through,” said deputy State Services Commissioner Sandi Beatie.

Mr Morrison will take up his new role from 9 September 2013. He will remain as Chief Executive of DOC until he takes up his new role. A recruitment process to appoint a new Chief Executive of DOC will commence in the coming weeks.

In announcing the new appointment, Deputy State Services Commissioner Sandi Beatie said, “This is an important role at the centre of government that will be responsible for ensuring Central Agencies increase the pace and momentum of change for the delivery of better public services”.

As Deputy Commissioner Corporate Centre Mr Morrison will report directly to the State Services Commissioner, and will also work closely with the Secretary to the Treasury and the Chief Executive of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.

These three agencies make up the Corporate Centre, which has been established to collectively lead the State sector and drive improved performance to deliver increased effectiveness through better public services.

Better Public Services is the most significant change to how government services are delivered in 20 years and focuses the entire system on effectively delivering results across whole sectors.

In this role Mr Morrison will be responsible for shaping Central Agency priorities and joint work programmes, where necessary challenging Central Agency performance, and engaging with Ministers and leaders across the State sector.

“This will be a challenging role and is a vital part of the leadership of Better Public Services,” Ms Beatie said.

“Mr Morrison brings outstanding experience at leading and implementing major change and is an excellent communicator which will be of great benefit in his work across the State sector,” she said.


Al Morrison joined the Department of Conservation in 2002 and was appointed as Chief Executive and Director General in November 2006. He has been leading the department through a period of significant change to expand conservation achievement and engagement beyond the department’s core work.

Al is an alumnus of the public service Executive Leadership Programme, and is on the board of the Leadership Development Centre. His career path has been through teaching, journalism and broadcasting to the public service.


  1. Wynston Cooper, 24. April 2013, 23:08

    Looks very much like a case of “Chaos and destruction, … my work here is done!”

    Many of the DOC management below Deputy Director-General level have serious concerns about the new structure that he will be leaving as his legacy, and its ability to deliver ongoing conservation benefits. If only they could speak out without putting their chances of future employment at even greater risk!

  2. kerry hogan, 26. April 2013, 17:26

    In seven years as leader of DOC Al Morrison has, through diligently delivering on the whims of his political masters, succeeded in curtailing the Department’s ability to effectively advocate for Conservation, reduced its capacity and capability to do bidiversity conservation work in the backcountry and actively promoted a high risk strategy that relies on utilising well meaning volunteers to do the brunt of conservation work in the future – doesnt bode well for “a drive to improve performance to deliver increased effectiveness through better public services.”