Published 15 November 2023

Hekia Parata

Ms Parata informed the Minister of Internal Affairs in July of her personal reasons for stepping down. Since then, she has completed all duties of the role, in anticipation of a fresh appointment by the incoming Government.

“It has been an honour to serve our Royal Commission with its forward looking focus on lessons, and emphasis on strengthening our preparedness for the next pandemic. It’s been a privilege to hear from many individuals and organisations who did so much to protect our communities and country. They deserve our thanks, even as we identify how we can do better in the future. This will be assisted by hearing from the wider public who will have the opportunity to share their experiences too,” says Ms Parata.

“I’ve also learnt so much from the particular knowledge and deep expertise of Inquiry Chair, Professor Tony Blakely, and fellow Commissioner John Whitehead. With the support of a lean, capable and energetic secretariat, I’m confident of a quality report in September 2024, and wish the team well as they go into the second half.”

The contribution to the Inquiry, from Ms Parata, has been outstanding says Commission Chair, Professor Tony Blakely.

“Hekia has brought to the Inquiry her invaluable experience of the public sector, and her unwavering expectation of fair and equitable public services for all in need. Her strong connections with a range of communities, the unique insights of the pandemic that this brings, and her recent experience Chairing the Ministerial Inquiry into Land Use in Tairawhiti have all been instrumental in shaping our thinking for the Inquiry,” says Professor Blakely.

“We thank Hekia, and wish her all the best, particularly with her efforts to support the Gisborne and East Coast communities with their many challenges.”