Newly-released documents show it took the Government nine months and two rounds of interviews to appoint a Race Relations Commissioner.
Former world squash champion Dame Susan Devoy was named in the role in March.
Papers obtained under the Official Information Act show initially 24 people applied last year to be Race Relations Commissioner. None of the applicants were deemed suitable.
After more interviews in January, an unnamed man was the preferred candidate, but Cabinet ultimately gave the job to Dame Susan, who was second choice.
The interview panel's report said she demonstrated a good insight into race relations.
On taking the role, Dame Susan told Radio New Zealand that although she does not have a wealth of experience in race relations, the job is not overly complicated.