Sir Maarten Wevers, KNZM—BSc 1973, BA(Hons) 1976

Sir Maarten Wevers has had a distinguished career as a public servant and New Zealand diplomat, building a reputation for thoroughness and efficiency.

Portrait photo of distinguished alumnus Maarten Wevers in front of a bookcase.
Sir Maarten Wevers has had a distinguished career as a public servant and New Zealand diplomat, building a reputation for thoroughness and efficiency across the public service.

After graduating with a Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts with Honours from Victoria University of Wellington, Sir Maarten joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1977. In 1980, he was posted to the New Zealand Embassy in Japan as second secretary. From 1985 to 1987, he was private secretary to then Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, David Lange, before being seconded to the Institute of Policy Studies at Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington to undertake research on relations between Japan and New Zealand.

Sir Maarten then served in the New Zealand Embassy in Brussels, and as high commissioner to Papua New Guinea and ambassador to Japan. He was chair of the Asia–Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Senior Officials’ Meeting in 1999, during New Zealand’s year as APEC host. In 2000, Sir Maarten was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the 1999 APEC summit.

Also in 2000, he became regional director of New Zealand Post International Limited, where he later was general manager of government business for New Zealand Post. In June 2004, Sir Maarten was appointed chief executive of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, a position he held for eight years. He led the Government House Conservation Project, chaired the Better Public Services Advisory Group, and led the implementation of the review conducted into New Zealand’s intelligence and security agencies.

In the 2012 Queen’s Birthday and Diamond Jubilee Honours, he was appointed a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

In 2013, Sir Maarten was appointed chair of the board of the Earthquake Commission. He has also undertaken numerous other governance and advisory roles.

In April 2020, he was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star by the Japanese government for his outstanding contributions towards the promotion, development, and strengthening of Japan and New Zealand’s bilateral relationship.

Sir Maarten is currently deputy chair of the Fred Hollows Foundation of New Zealand, a trustee of the Aspen Institute New Zealand and the Victoria University of Wellington Foundation, patron of the Wairarapa Dark Sky Association, and Registrar of Pecuniary and other Specified Interests of Members of Parliament.