Liz MacPherson

Government Statistician

New Zealand

Liz joined the public sector with a strong appetite to make a difference. She was appointed to the role of Government Statistician and Chief Executive of Stats NZ in August 2013.

Under the Statistics Act 1971, the role of the New Zealand Government Statistician is independent, which is integral to the role and its functions. Statistics produced, the timing and nature of their release, are not influenced by others.

Liz has recently been appointed Government Chief Data Steward, which is part of Stats NZ’s role as functional lead for New Zealand’s public sector data. The role aims to ensure that data is used to help achieve better outcomes for New Zealanders.

Prior to joining Stats 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. She went on to become 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.