Ministerial appointments – jobs for the boys (but gender balance and diversity are not overlooked)

The government makes appointments to 429 state sector boards and committees every year, according to Ethnic Communities Minister Jenny Salesa.  This gives Ministers several opportunities to dispense favours by making appointments or recommending them.

Ministers proudly announce an array of other appointments, such as judges and overseas envoys.

Point of Order’s monitoring of Beehive press statements to learn who has been favoured by ministerial appointments in April shows this …

2 APRIL 2019

Commerce Commission appointments support focus on consumer protection

Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi announced the appointments of Anna Rawlings as the new Chair of the Commerce Commission and Joseph Liava’a as an associate member. Both have been appointed for three-year terms.

Rawlings takes over from Dr Mark Berry, who will step down after two terms at the end of May.   She has served as a member of the commission since 2014.

Liava’a is a past member of the Consumer New Zealand board, and has held a number of consumer law related roles in Government and agencies, as well as serving on several community boards and panels.

Background notes on the appointees can be found in the press statement.

5 APRIL 2019

Appointments to Lottery Oranga Marae Committee

Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced three appointments and two reappointments to the Lottery Oranga Marae Committee.

Arihia Tuoro (Tainui, Whakatohea and Ngāitai) and Edward Ellison (Ngāi Tahu and Te Atiawa), have been reappointed. Edward Ellison is the Presiding Member.

Joining them are new members Niwa Nuri (Te Arawa and Te Whakatohea), Matt Te Pou (Ngāi Tuhoe), and Bonita Bigham (Ngā Ruahine and Te Atiawa).

The press statement said only that the five appointees

  • ” … have experience in the marae restoration process, governance, business management and financial expertise.”  


  • ” … come from a diverse range of backgrounds.  

Notes about Oranga Marae can be found in the press statement here.

 8 APRIL 2019

Supreme Court judge to lead terror attack Royal Commission

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern released the terms of reference for the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Christchurch terror attack and announced Supreme Court Justice Sir William Young as its chair.

The commission will look at:

  • The individual’s activities before the attack, including:
  • Relevant information from his time in Australia;
  • His arrival and residence in New Zealand;
  • His travel within New Zealand, and internationally;
  • How he obtained a gun licence, weapons and ammunition;
  • His use of social media and other online media;
  • His connections with others, whether in New Zealand or internationally;
  • What relevant state sector agencies knew about this individual and his activities before this attack; what actions (if any) they took in light of that knowledge; and whether there were any additional measures that the agencies could have taken to prevent the attack;
  • Whether there were any impediments to relevant state sector agencies gathering or sharing information relevant to the attack, or acting upon such information, including legislative impediments, and
  • Whether there was any inappropriate concentration or priority setting of counter terrorism resources by relevant state sector agencies prior to this attack.

The press statement contains biographical notes on Justice William Young and says more details on the Royal Commission are online here. 

 9 APRIL 2019

National Climate Change Risk Assessment panel appointed

 Climate Change Minister James Shaw welcomed the Ministry for the Environment’s appointment of an expert panel to create the framework for New Zealand’s first National Climate Change Risk Assessment.

Panel members have expertise in climate change risk and risk assessments, vulnerability assessments, and risk in the context of Te Ao Māori.

The panel will be chaired by Dr Anne Bardsley.

Other members are Acushla Dee Sciascia, Bapon Fakhruddin, Rob Bell, Roger Fairclough, Shaun Awatere, Wendy Saunders.

That makes seven appointees by our count (brief notes about each can be found in the press statement).

The panel also includes unnamed representatives from the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management. The panel is supported by a small Secretariat based at the Ministry for the Environment.

10 APRIL 2019

Appointment of new Ambassador to Japan

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced the appointment of diplomat Hamish Cooper as Ambassador to Japan (the appointment was reported in this earlier Point of Order post) .

Fluent in the Japanese language, Cooper has served in Tokyo as Deputy Head of Mission and in Osaka as Consul-General.  He has also served as Ambassador to the Russian Federation and to Turkey and was the Senior Foreign Affairs Adviser in both the current and previous Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

 18 APRIL 2019

Appointment of Judge of the High Court

Attorney‑General David Parker announced Auckland Barrister Tracey Walker has been appointed a Judge of the High Court.

Background notes can be found in the press statement.

 She will sit in Auckland.

23 APRIL 2019

Appointment to Arts Council of New Zealand

The Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, Carmel Sepuloni, announced award winning writer Briar Grace-Smith, from Kapiti, has been appointed to the Arts Council of New Zealand Toi Aotearoa (Creative NZ).  Dame Hon Lua manuvao Winnie Laban and Dean Whiting, both of Wellington, are reappointed for a further term.

Notes on the appointees can be found in the press statement.


One thought on “Ministerial appointments – jobs for the boys (but gender balance and diversity are not overlooked)

  1. Looks like Shaw has ensured the Committee will not challenge the assumption of catastrophic climate change and associated sea-level rise to catastrophic levels. Even the IPCC in their latest report are not suggesting any reasonable likelihood of sea-level rise in the next century of more than 6 inches. If such a well funded , globally relevant body has that assumption why is Shaw saying the country needs strategies and plans to deal with between half a metre and 3 metres in sea level rise? That is scare mongering on an industrial scale and has LGNZ and others having conniptions – probably unnecessarily and certainly unreasonably. Of course if 3 metres is true then driving around in a electric car won’t change it. The GNA appointee needs to find a moment talk with a colleague about New Zealand’s tectonic environment. The expert will tell them the North Island’s East Coast is being lifted anyway due to the subduction of the Pacific Plate under the Australian Plate. Lifted out of harm’s way but subject to a catastrophic AF8 earthquake. The Climate Commission funds would be better spent on developing resilience and recovery strategies from to AF8 – which is a certain future event.


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