The Ministry for Pacific Peoples confirms that Susanne Ruthven has accepted a role with the Ministry as Chief Legal Counsel.
We expect all our staff to ensure they disclose conflicts of interest.
During the recruitment process Ms Ruthven disclosed her election candidacy. At the completion of the process, she was found to be the strongest preferred candidate for the role. The role is a tier three role.
Like all Public Servants, in her new role Ms Ruthven must be politically neutral and ensure she is able to serve the current and future Governments.
The Ministry explained to Ms Ruthven the State Services Commission advice around public servants who stand for election. She was advised of the requirements to take a leave of absence for a period. Ms Ruthven wished to consider her options and since then she’s independently decided to prioritise her new role as Chief Legal Counsel and resign as an election candidate. We respect her decision.
Ms Ruthven has extensive legal experience and expertise that will be an asset to the Ministry for Pacific Peoples and New Zealand’s Pacific communities.