New Labour leader David Cunliffe has appointed Auckland Council lawyer Wendy Brandon as his chief of staff.
Ms Brandon was working as legal counsel in the Ministry of Health when Mr Cunliffe was minister, and was seconded to his office.
Mr Cunliffe said she had a CV that spanned central and local government, as well as the private sector.
"At a personal level I've known Wendy for many years," Mr Cunliffe said. "I trust her absolutely, and value her honesty, integrity and excellent judgement."
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Ms Brandon For was chairwoman of the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal for six years.
She was formerly a director and deputy chairwoman of the state-owned enterprise Kordia and director of the NZ Red Cross.
Former Labour leader David Shearer had three chiefs of staff, former MP Stuart Nash, Wellington lawyer Alistair Cameron and former press secretary Fran Mold.