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Part 3: Boards in action - Succession planning and formal consultation


While many of the boards in the MCH family are appointed by Ministers there is still a need to ensure that the composition of a board at any particular time reflects the future needs and challenges for the entity.

Ministers like to be aware of what a board believes are some of the skills and other ‘gaps’ that do exist or could exist in the future.

A number of MCH-related boards are not appointed by Ministers, but by the board itself (e.g. Royal NZ Ballet) or some other mechanism (e.g. Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision which has a College of Convocation).

As well as the board’s informal role in future membership, a number of entities are subject to formal consultation with named persons and groups.

So for many entities, some form of succession planning consideration is still desirable even when Ministers appoint, while other entities are subject to formal consultation and others are responsible for their own appointments and need to ensure appropriate planning is in place.

Some appropriate opportunities

Boards in the MCH family who are appointed by Ministers have a number of opportunities to focus on succession planning. First, most undertake a regular (usually annually) board evaluation (see ‘Board performance evaluations’) and this is a good opportunity to advise Ministers of their views. Second, most boards and in particular the chair, have regular meetings with their responsible Ministers. Before an appointment round begins, chairs usually ensure that the board’s views are known to Ministers.

Crown Entities Act criteria

The Act requires a Minister to only appoint to Crown Entities persons “with the appropriate knowledge, skills and experience to assist the statutory entity to achieve its objectives and perform its functions”. Ministers must also take into account the desirability of promoting diversity in the membership of Crown entities.

Formal consultation

Examples of formal consultation in our sector include the Heritage New Zealand Board being consulted on appointments to the Māori Heritage Council, public interest and broadcasting interest groups being consulted in respect to two separate appointments to the Broadcasting Standards Authority, and the Minister of Māori Affairs being consulted on some appointments to Heritage New Zealand and Creative New Zealand. When formal consultation is involved, Ministers take this into account in terms of the appointment timelines. In New Zealand consultation is more than merely informing a party of a decision or intention. However, the party does not have any right of veto. Rather, the Minister receives and considers views and takes these into account.


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Updated on 7th October 2019