Today's official farewell to Treasury Secretary Gabriel Makhlouf is going to be one of the most awkward.

No one can recall anything remotely similar - when one of the Mandarins of the public service is facing a potentially ignominious end to an otherwise sterling innings.

Wellington always takes notice when a public sector chief executive is in trouble.
It doesn't happen that often.


You can count them on the fingers of two hands, if not one in recent years: Christine Rankin in Winz, Lesley Longstone in Education, Peter Doone in Police, Hugh Logan in Environment, and Roger Sutton at CERA.