Cabinet Fees Framework

Ministers set the fees for boards and bodies under the Cabinet Fees Framework (the Framework). The Framework is reviewed periodically - the current version can be found at This guide includes a brief overview and some key points from the Framework. Users should check they are operating under the most up-to-date version. For advice on the interpretation and application of the Framework, please contact the State Services Commission at

The applicable fee range and proposed level of fees for a particular appointment needs to be established before the submission is prepared for the Cabinet Appointments and Honours Committee (APH).

Each board or body should be classified under the Framework, according to its roles and responsibilities. The actual fee level is then set from within the applicable fee range taking into account factors such as the complexity of the role, expertise required, recruitment and retention issues, identified risks, the degree to which the role is in the public eye, and affordability. Proposed fees should be set out in the recommendations included in the Cabinet paper on the appointment, particularly if an exception to the Framework is proposed (see below).

Fees for members should be reviewed at regular intervals (for example, when the Framework itself is reviewed, or when appointments or reappointments are being made). Fees should not necessarily increase as a result of any review.


The Framework sets out the process that must be followed if it is proposed to pay fees outside the parameters of the Framework ('exceptions').

Exceptions include, but are not limited to, situations where it is proposed to:

  • pay fees above the applicable Framework range
  • increase existing fees
  • use alternative methods for paying or setting fees
  • making additional payments for additional work.

Any proposed fee increases or exceptions to the Framework require the responsible Minister to consult with the Minister of State Services. Consultation should take place early in the process and in advance of the Cabinet paper being lodged for those cases where consideration by APH and Cabinet is required. The payment of fees outside the Framework typically only applies in specific circumstances and is time-bound. A strong case must be made each time an exception is sought. Possible justification could include demonstrated difficulty in recruitment or retention; the particular skills and expertise required for a specific task; or an immediate need or a period of intense workload. The State Services Commission should be consulted at an early stage in all such cases.

An exceptional fee agreed for one member of a board does not automatically apply to subsequent appointments. Each case should be treated as a new exception.

When a trans-Tasman body is being established, the State Services Commission should be consulted on the level of fees, on a case-by-case basis.

Travelling and other expenses

Board members travelling to meetings or on other board business that requires them to be away from their normal places of residence are entitled to reimbursement of actual and reasonable travelling, meal and accommodation expenses.

The rate is to be paid to board members on the same basis as to employees of the monitoring department, or in accordance with information issued by a reputable organisation, e.g. Automobile Association for vehicle mileage rates. If this is not applicable, the rates to be followed are set out in the Framework.

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