Michael Wintringham

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Michael Wintringham
State Services Commissioner
In office
1997 – May 2004
Prime Minister Jim Bolger, Jenny Shipley, Helen Clark
Preceded by Don Hunn
Succeeded by Mark Prebble

Michael Charles Wintringham CNZM (born 1947) is a New Zealand public servant. He served as State Services Commissioner,[1] head of New Zealand's public service, from 1997 to 2004.

Wintringham was born in Blenheim, went to St John's College, Hastings,[2] and has a BA (Hons) degree from Victoria University of Wellington.[3] He started his career in the New Zealand Treasury in 1970, and between 1980 and 1984 was posted to Washington as Economic Counsellor at the New Zealand Embassy. He then worked as an Assistant Auditor-General, before leaving the public service to work for a management consultancy in Wellington.

Wintringham was appointed Chief Executive of the Ministry of Housing by State Services Commissioner Don Hunn. In 1997, Wintringham succeeded Hunn as State Services Commissioner and head of New Zealand's public service.

In 2001, Wintringham was sued in the Employment Court for NZ$1.2 million by former Work and Income New Zealand Chief Executive Christine Rankin.[4] Incoming Social Welfare Minister Steve Maharey criticised Rankin's personal and management style as chief executive in 1999, and Wintringham chose not to reappoint Rankin to the role in 2001. Rankin made allegations of sexism towards her by officials and Ministers. Rankin lost the court case, but some of the evidence given during the hearing by Wintringham and DPMC chief executive Mark Prebble was embarrassing to all involved, and was the dominant political news topic of the year.

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Michael Wintringham

Mark Prebble succeeded Wintringham as State Services Commissioner in 2004. Wintringham subsequently became a member of the Remuneration Authority, which sets the rate of pay for MPs, since 2005, and was appointed chairman of the authority in 2009.[5] Wintringham is also chairman of the Earthquake Commission.

He was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2005 New Year Honours, for public services as State Services Commissioner.[6]


  1. ^ Armstrong, John (30 June 2001). "Yes minister - life imitates art". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 3 March 2010. 
  2. ^ Edlin, Bob (March 2003). "The Management Interview: Michael Wintringham The Thoughtful Bureaucrat". New Zealand Management. Retrieved 3 March 2010. 
  3. ^ "The 2002 Speakers". Public Service Senior Management Conference. Retrieved 3 March 2010. 
  4. ^ Mold, Francesca (13 November 2001). "State service head dodges fallout from Rankin case". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 3 March 2010. 
  5. ^ "Remuneration Authority chair appointed". New Zealand Government. 28 September 2009. Retrieved 3 March 2010. 
  6. ^ "New Year Honours 2005". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Retrieved 3 March 2010. 
Preceded by
Don Hunn
State Services Commissioner
Succeeded by
Mark Prebble