Christine Rankin is the former Chief Executive Officer of one of the largest government departments in New Zealand, the Department of Work and Income – more commonly known as WINZ.
Christine’s background was very different to the traditional CEO appointments in that she came up from the bottom ranks of the Department of Social Welfare, in fact, from the other side of the counter as a DPB recipient. Her educational background was not punctuated by a University Degree.
Ms Rankin joined the Department of Social Welfare in 1978 as a temporary clerk. After holding a series of positions within the Department, Ms Rankin was appointed District Manager of Grey Lynn in 1987 and two years later took over the position of Director for the Auckland Central/Grey Lynn district. At 34 years of age, she was the youngest director in the country.
In 1992, the Department of Social Welfare split into business units and Ms Rankin was appointed Income Support Regional Manager for the Northern Region. At the time of her appointment, the region had a reputation as the worst performing area in the Department. Under her leadership, the region rapidly moved to become the best performing Income Support region.
Ms Rankin was appointed the General Manager of Income Support. In that role she managed 3,200 staff with an operating budget of $285 million. As General Manager Ms Rankin made major changes to the organisation including the introduction of a case management approach for customers.
On 30 June 1998, Ms Rankin was appointed to the position of Chief Executive of the Government’s new Department managing employment assistance and income maintenance services to working age beneficiaries. She was the Chief Executive of Work and Income New Zealand from 1 October 1998 until May 2001.
Christine Rankin was a ‘first’ in many aspects of her public service career. She broke the mould from the very beginning with a range of appointments culminating with her appointment to the role of General Manager of the Income Support Service and then as Chief Executive Work and Income New Zealand.
On change of Government in New Zealand, Christine Rankin was the subject of national and international attention when the new Labour Government decided not to continue her employment contract despite the organisations outstanding results.
Christine’s passion for leadership and her belief in the power of individual potential is the centre of her continuing work. Christine formed her own business – Rankin and Associates – in July 2000.
Since the controversial ‘trial’, Christine has been a columnist for the NZ Herald, a keynote speaker at many national conferences, a commentator on radio, public relations and marketing campaigns and consulted internationally on management and leadership.
Christine is committed to New Zealand and furthering her work in developing leadership at the individual, corporate and government levels. She is able to share her insights in a number of areas from leadership, passion and innovation, to changing organisations, human behaviours, and political/social issues, as well as her own personal story about making it against the odds.