Rose Cole

Non-political staff in Ministerial Offices: Navigating the 'event horizon' between politics and the Public Service

Rose Cole, PhD student
Rose Cole, PhD student


Supervisors: Dr Chris Eichbaum and Associate Professor Karl Lofgren


Rose's career has been spent in both community-based and public sector education organisations. She has held leadership roles in various parts of the education sector, spanning early childhood education, schooling, through to tertiary education.


Master of Public Management, Victoria University of Wellington
Master of Public Administration (Exec with Merit), Australia and NZ School of Government and Victoria University of Wellington
BA (Hons), Victoria University of Wellington

Research interests

During her career in the public service Rose has held the role of Private Secretary to several Ministers in coalition governments. This sparked her interest in learning more about the role, and finding that very little documentation exists. Private Secretaries provide administrative support to Ministers, and have been part of the public service since the beginning of colonial government in New Zealand. Since the mid-1980s there has been considerable change to the relationship between government Ministers and the public sector, for example the introduction of New Public Management and the growth in the number of political advisors in Ministers' offices. The impact of these changes on the Private Secretary's role has not yet been examined, and is the focus of Rose's research.