Making the Appointment
Confirmation of the appointment
Once the Minister's intention to make an appointment has been noted by APH and Cabinet and has been discussed by the government caucus the Minister makes the appointment, or recommends the appointment to the Governor-General.
Notice of Appointment or Other Appointment Document
Under section 28 of the Crown Entities Act, (www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2004/0115/latest/DLM329954.html) the action that gives effect to a Crown entity appointment is the receipt of the appointment notice by the appointee. The Minister signs the notice for Crown agents and autonomous Crown entity appointees. The Governor-General signs the notice for independent Crown entity appointments. The notice is sent to the appointee along with other appointment information required, e.g. an appointment letter.
Some other appointments will also require an appointment document, while for others a detailed appointment letter will suffice. This will depend on what the documents relating to the specific appointment require.
Letters of appointment
The contents of the draft letter of appointment must comply with the requirements set out in the CabGuide, see dpmc.govt.nz/publications/cabguide. The letter of appointment is signed by the responsible Minister.
The letter of appointment must include enough information on the role of the board and the duties of members for appointees to be clear about the expectations on them. There is no 'standard' appointment letter, as information needs to be tailored to the situation of the board concerned. However, the letter should include:
- the designation of the position and a position description
- if not already gained, agreement that the person will accept the appointment
- the proper name of the board or office
- the authority under which the appointment is made
- the term of appointment
- legislation relevant to the board or office
- any specific ministerial expectations of the board as they affect individual appointees
- any specific agreement on handling of the interests disclosed during the appointment process
- training and development opportunities or obligations
- the frequency and expected location of meetings and of other board activities
- the fees and allowances relating to the appointment, and other board activities (in addition to actual meeting attendance) which will attract remuneration
- a clear indication that there is no guarantee of appointment for a further term
- termination reasons and procedures
- the name of a contact person within the monitoring department who can provide further information.
Existing members being reappointed should be sent a similar letter though the level of detail required would be less.
Letters sent on the appointment of a new chair would be expected to contain additional detail and information about that particular role.
A copy of the letter and the notice of appointment should be sent to the board or body to which the person has been appointed.
New board members should be given additional material through the induction process (see Chapter 7: In Support of Board Performance).
In the case of officers listed on Schedule 4 of the Remuneration Authority Act 1977, whose remuneration is determined by the Remuneration Authority, please refer to guidance provided by the Remuneration Authority at: http://remauthority.govt.nz/clients-remuneration/independent-officers-and-boards/ and http://remauthority.govt.nz/assets/Uploads/REM/EmploymentStatusRemunerationStatutoryOfficers.pdf.
The board, Minister or department may want to use a new board appointment to raise the profile of that board or body e.g. to inform stakeholders about its role and the contribution it can make to the community or the economy. The appointee/s and unsuccessful applicant/s must be advised personally before any public announcements are made.
Publication of appointments in the New Zealand Gazette
The New Zealand Gazette is the official newspaper of the New Zealand Government: www.gazette.govt.nz.
Appointments to Crown entity boards must be published in the New Zealand Gazette, as soon as practicable after they have been confirmed. The Crown Entities Act does not require each notice of appointment to be published individually; 6 when a number of appointments are made to a board at the same time, they may be grouped together in one notice.
Generally, the wording in the appointment notice is to be the same as the Gazette notice, but the Gazette Office can apply its own editorial standards to a notice where they consider it appropriate to do so. The responsible department will be advised of any resulting amendments to the notice.
The action that gives effect to a Crown entity appointment is the receipt of the appointment notice by the appointee and not the publication of the appointment in the New Zealand Gazette.
For information about submitting material for the Gazette, see: www.dia.govt.nz/diawebsite.nsf/wpg_URL/Services-New-Zealand-Gazette-Index/
Governor-General: Three types of appointment
There are three ways in which the Governor-General makes appointments:
- Appointment papers sent to the Governor-General: All independent Crown entity appointments are made in this way. The Minister needs to provide to the Governor-General an advice sheet; an appointment document and a covering note which provides information about the position and the proposed appointee; a brief description of the role or function of the board; and any other relevant background information.
- Executive Council appointments: In a few cases legislation requires board appointments to be made by the Governor-General in Council e.g. The Representation Commission is appointed by the Governor-General under the Electoral Act 1993. The documentation required for this is an Executive Council advice sheet; sometimes a separate instrument of appointment (for example, a warrant); and a CAB 50 (CV form). The above documentation is to be submitted to the Cabinet Office at the same time as the committee paper proposing the appointments. The responsible Minister should attend the relevant Executive Council meeting, or brief a colleague to do so.
Further advice on these first two types of Governor-General appointment is available from the Cabinet Office at: https://cabguide.cabinetoffice.govt.nz/appointments-process-appointments-papers
- Appointments made after consultation with the House: There are a number of appointments that are made by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the House of Representatives so that they may be seen as far as possible to be bi-partisan. These include Officers of Parliament (e.g. the Ombudsmen) and a small number of other appointments (e.g. the Independent Police Conduct Authority). This is desirable given the particular relationship the appointees have with Parliament or because of the sensitive nature of their role.
Some of these appointments are considered at APH, Cabinet and Caucus in the usual way. The Speaker of the House takes a lead role in running the process for the appointment of Officers of Parliament. Appointment processes for the other House appointments are the responsibility of the Minister under whose legislation the appointment is made. The difference from other statutory appointment processes is that the Speaker or the lead Minister also needs to consult the Opposition parties represented in the House in order to gauge support for the proposed appointment. This is preparatory to putting a formal Notice of Motion to the House for the proposed appointment. The timing and nature of the consultation is at the discretion of the Speaker or lead Minister but generally it will be by way of letters to the leaders of all other parties represented in the House after the proposed appointment has been cleared through the Cabinet appointment process
Once the Speaker or lead Minister is satisfied that the Notice of Motion will gain a satisfactory level of support from the Parliament, a Notice is lodged with the Office of the Clerk of the House. The Clerk's office will prepare the appointment documentation for the Governor-General. When signed documentation comes back from the Governor-General the Speaker or the responsible Minister will undertake to advise and induct the person in the normal way.
Appointment of a temporary deputy chair of a Crown entity by the board
In accordance with Schedule 5 of the Crown Entities Act, the board of a Crown entity may, by passing a resolution, appoint a temporary deputy chair from the current membership, when the following circumstances have occurred:
- the chair is unavailable or interested in a matter
- there is no deputy chair, or the deputy chair is unavailable or is interested in the matter.
The board should satisfy itself that the person has the skills necessary to lead the board.
Based on the no surprises relationship between the board and the Minister's ownership role in the entity, the board should apprise the Minister of the situation. The suggested candidate's conflicts should also be reassessed prior to appointment.
Where there is no chair and no deputy chair to lead the board for a significant period of time (i.e. due to the appointments process required) monitoring departments should encourage the board to consult with the Minister on the proposed candidate and to determine a timeframe that the temporary deputy chair is to be required in the role.
The monitoring department should provide a briefing to the Minister on the temporary deputy chair and facilitate with the Board any inductions and meetings as required. Where the appointment is of interest to other Ministers a brief noting paper may be provided to APH.
If the circumstances require the commencement of a new appointment process, the monitoring department is expected to discuss the appointment process with the Minister as soon as practical.
6: Following an amendment to section 28 of the Crown Entities Act.