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Appointments to Crown boards

Who appoints?

To Crown Entities

Appointments to the boards of most Crown entities in the cultural sector are made by or on behalf of the responsible Minister. Board members of the Broadcasting Standards Authority are appointed by the Governor-General on the advice of the Minister of Broadcasting. The method of appointment for each entity is detailed in the Crown Entities Act 2004 and the entity’s own enabling legislation.

To Non-Crown Entities

For those entities that are not formal Crown entities, methods of appointment range from Ministerial appointments (National Pacific Radio Trust) through appointments by existing board members (Royal NZ Ballet) to appointments by an electoral college (Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision). The method of appointment is outlined in the organisation’s enabling documentation which is often a Deed of Trust.

The role of MCH

The Ministry for Culture and Heritage supports Ministers in the appointment process. If requested, the Ministry manages the process of board member appointments on behalf of the relevant Minister, following appropriate protocols and guidelines. The Ministry also maintains a nominations database.

The criteria

For appointments to boards under the Crown Entities Act 2004, Ministers may appoint (or recommend) persons who have “the appropriate knowledge skills and experience appropriate to that board’s objectives and functions”. The Act also provides for the need for diversity on the board. Similar criteria are usually in place for non-Crown entities in the cultural sector.

The prerequisites

Prior to an appointment, proposed members for a Crown entity must make three statements – the “triple disclosure”. They must consent in writing to the intended appointment, certify they are not disqualified to act as board members and disclose the nature and extent of all interests. The prerequisites for intended members of non-Crown entities will depend on their enabling documents but the three requirements for Crown entity members do provide a useful guideline for best practice when there are no prescribed requirements.

The procedure

Most appointments recommended by Ministers go before the Cabinet Appointments and Honours Committee (APH) and then through Cabinet and Caucus. If it proceeds through these channels, the appointment is then actioned by a formal notice (or a formal letter of appointment) which, for Crown entities, is publicly gazetted.


Ministers are, for most agencies, responsible for setting the remuneration under the guidelines of the Fees Framework for members appointed to bodies in which the Crown has an interest. Exceptions to the framework may be made after consultation with the Minister of State Services. Remuneration of members of Crown entities is now disclosed in the entity’s Annual Report. Crown entity members, therefore, should be aware that your board income is in the public domain.


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Updated on 7th October 2019