Close shave for Kiwi commission

30th September 2005 at 01:00
Seldom does New Zealand feature in FErret. This is only the second time.

The first, as now, was to mention Janice Shiner. Quitting the post of director general of learning and skills at the Department for Education and Skills, she was off in June to take up the role of chief executive of the country's tertiary education commission, a government body which oversees further and higher education.

Now, even down-under, civil servants must remain politically impartial. But Ms Shiner must have been praying for a Labour victory. Chances are she was up all night to witness the cliff-hanging result that gave the ruling party a majority of one seat. Had the opposition won, its first act would have been to abolish the commission.

Mind you, her future is not absolutely secure. Will Labour hang on to the commission if it has to make sacrifices in order to cling on to power? If not, Ms Shiner could be looking for a challenging post back in the UK. Any suggestions? Her previous post is well and truly taken, as we show in the interview at the top of this page.

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