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Simon MacPherson – Deputy Chief Executive, Policy

Role and responsibilities

Simon MAcpherson

Simon leads MSD’s Policy branch. The branch provides policy advice on welfare system change and wider social development; income, employment and housing support; regional and community development; issues faced by older people and people with a disability; child and youth-related policy; and international and climate change policy.

The branch works closely with other groups across MSD, with partner agencies and organisations in the social and economic sectors, and with the communities we serve to ensure our policy is informed by the expertise of those with lived experience.

Simon and the Senior Management Group lead a wide-ranging programme of activity aimed at the development of the branch’s people and work.

What working for MSD means to me

Simon enjoys the challenges involved in the breadth and importance of what MSD does, as our work touches the lives of so many New Zealanders, including the most vulnerable people in our society.


Simon joined MSD in December 2015 as Chief Policy Advisor. In this role he provided the Chief Executive with advice and acted as a sounding board on issues across MSD. Simon became the Deputy Chief Executive, Policy in April 2017.

Simon came to MSD from the Policy Advisory Group in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Before that he was at the Treasury, working on, amongst other things, welfare reform. Simon has also worked at the State Services Commission and in the justice sector. Simon has an MA (Hons) in History from the University of Auckland, and has also studied Economics, Mathematics, Philosophy and English.

Cultural dancing.
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