26 Sep 2012

Museum executive to head Maori ministry

11:45 am on 26 September 2012

A museum executive has been appointed chief executive of the Ministry of Maori Development, Te Puni Kokiri.

Te Papa Tongarewa Maori leader Michelle Hippolite is to fill the ministry role currently held by Leith Comer.

Ms Hippolite says she's looking forward to the new challenge when she starts as Te Puni Kokiri chief executive on 3 December.

Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples welcomes her appointment, saying she has a solid record of public service.

He says she's built strong credibility and wide networks among Maori, and other New Zealand communities - and overseas.

Ms Hippolite replaces Mr Comer, who finishes work at the ministry at the end of November after 12 years as chief executive.

Mr Comer faced Government questions earlier this year over the spending of $1800 of taxpayer money on flights and accommodation for his wife to attend events last year - funds he paid back.

Dr Sharples says that through complexity and sometimes controversy Mr Comer provided clear guidance and strong determination to achieve results.