Gabriel Makhlouf new Treasury Secretary and chief executive for five years, replacing John Whitehead

Treasury’s Deputy Chief Executive Gabriel Makhlouf has been appointed Chief Executive and Secretary of the Treasury, the State Services Commission announced today.

Makhlouf, who has been acting Secretary since June 1 following the departure of former Secretary John Whitehead, arrived in New Zealand from the United Kingdom in March 2010 to join the Treasury.

“It is an honour to lead this organisation and to succeed John Whitehead, one of New Zealand’s most capable and respected public servants,” Makhlouf said in a media release.

As Deputy Chief Executive, Makhlouf’s areas of responsibility included the National Infrastructure Unit, the Crown Ownership Monitoring Unit, the Financial Operations Group, the Strategy and Performance team, and the finance team.

His career in the UK included positions at HM Revenue and Customs, where he led one of the biggest operational directorates, HM Treasury and the Inland Revenue. He has chaired the world’s main tax- ruling body at the OECD and was Principal Private Secretary to the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown.

Makhlouf had delivered policy and operational results in complex economic, political and organisational environments and had led substantial change management programmes, it says in the media statement.

“This is a time of significant change and opportunity for New Zealand. The Treasury has a firm focus on growing the economy, getting public finances back in order, and working with the public sector as it seeks new ways to deliver better services for less,” he said.

Makhlouf has been appointed for a five-year term.

See a biography below:

Gabriel (Gabs) Makhlouf joined the Treasury in March 2010 as one of two Deputy Chief Executives. Working with the Chief Executive, the DCEs provide the highest level of leadership and strategic direction for the organisation.

As DCE, he had overall leadership responsibility for driving the Treasury’s organizational and operational performance. His areas of responsibility included the National Infrastructure Unit, the Crown Ownership Monitoring Unit, the Financial Operations group (including the Debt Management Office, NZ Export Credit Office and the Guarantee Schemes team), the Strategy and Performance team and the Finance team.

His career was previously in the UK civil service – at the Inland Revenue, HM Treasury and HM Revenue and Customs – where his responsibilities ranged from policy development on domestic and international tax and welfare through to large-scale, customer-focused, operational delivery.

As the Inland Revenue’s International Director, Gabs was responsible for negotiating a new tax treaty between the UK and the USA. He was Chair of the world’s main tax rule-making body – the Committee on Fiscal Affairs - at the OECD in Paris between 2000-04 leading senior officials from the 30 member countries on a range of tax issues. Between 2005-08, he headed one of HMRC’s biggest operational directorates, the Debt Management and Banking organisation (around 10,000 people in 140 locations across the UK).

He was also responsible for the Government Banking Service, which provides services to over 900 government departments, agencies and other public bodies and which supports HM Treasury’s cash management role. He was Principal Private Secretary to the Chancellor of the Exchequer (Gordon Brown) and is on the Board of Trustees of the IBFD (an international tax research and publishing organisation based in Amsterdam).

Gabs has a BA degree in economics and an MSc in industrial relations.

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I hope they checked his CV..........

oooops !

The fact that he was so close to Gordon Brown (Principal Private Secretary to the Chancellor of the Exchequer) who played a major role in practically bankrupting the UK in the previous decade speaks volumes. So we get a UK cast-off who was right of the epicentre of the gross financial mismanagement that went on under the Brown regime. Makhlouf's first pronouncement, that all screening for foreign investment should be dropped, spoke volumes as to his complete lack of understanding as to how the world is changing as globalisation implodes under the impact of resource depletion.

Wonderful. We will be importing Kim Jong-il to run our tourist industry next.

andyh - I totally agree and I'm an ex-pom.  The recent track record of of the UK public service is one of incompetent financial mis-management.  This appointment is unbelievable, who was on the panel?  We should be afraid, very afraid with clowns like this in charge. 

"and was Principal Private Secretary to the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown."

Wasn't that when Gordon flogged off the UK's gold at the bottom of the market? No doubt he'll fit right into the treasury's culture - flog off public assets, screw the Kiwi workers and kow tow to the global elite robber barons.


The very same Gordon Brown - back in 2009 it was calculated the sale had cost the UK 5 BILLION pounds - and gold has gone up a heck of a lot since then - you are probably now looking at a loss closer to 7 Billion quid.

I too am an ex-pom and have followed this site for a few years. This news is the first I have heard on the site which has ever encouraged me to post a comment.

I have regular contact with UK and the mess that Gordon Brown`s policies  have done to the UK beggar belief.

The attached link will show how `New` Labour (Gordon Brown) `grew` the UK economy between  2000 and 2010. The figures as to how much was added to Public Debt, and the numbers added to the Public Sector are staggering.



Your link seems kaput Phil.