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Children's Commissioner

Date:  08-Jun-2021


Manaakitia ā Tātou Tamariki


The Minister for Social Development and Employment invites expressions of interest from suitably qualified persons who would like to be considered for appointment as Children’s Commissioner.

Kei te hiahia tono tūranga mahi te Minita Whakahiato Ora me Mahi i te hunga whai wheako e hāngai ana, ka hiahia kia whakaarotia hoki mō te tūranga a Te Kaikōmihana mō ngā Tamariki.


The opportunity


The appointment will be made by the Governor General, on the recommendation of the Minister for Social Development and Employment, for a term of up to five years. It is envisaged that this will be a full-time appointment. The option of a part-time appointment, however, will be considered.

The Children’s Commissioner currently carries out activities grouped under the following headings:


  • Strategy, Rights and Advice: These activities are designed to improve child wellbeing and outcomes for children and young people by influencing others. They also involve raising awareness and understanding of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. 
  • Development, Monitoring and Investigations: These activities are designed to support Oranga Tamariki to deliver quality and child focused statutory care and protection and youth justice residential care and social work services. The Children's Commissioner also has monitoring responsibilities under the Crimes of Torture Act 1989.



To assist them to carry out these functions the Children's Commissioner is supported by an office (the OCC) of more than 30 FTEs.




Who we are looking for

We are looking for someone who is an expert in child-related matters. The Children’s Commissioner is a champion for all tamariki and rangatahi in New Zealand.

There will be a specific focus on knowledge of te ao Māori, and Māori thought leadership and strategy.

You will bring the following skills and experience to the role:



  • an awareness and understanding of the issues and challenges children face
  • knowledge of New Zealand and international law on children’s rights
  • an understanding of, and an ability to advocate effectively for, the rights of tamariki and Rangatahi
  • knowledge and an understanding of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and its principles, as it relates o the Commissioner’s work
  • a sound knowledge and understanding of the Oranga Tamariki system
  • the ability to effectively investigate and report on complex and sensitive issues and situations involving tamariki and rangatahi in care
  • governance, management and leadership skills and experience
  • transitional change management skills




Further information about the functions of the Children’s Commissioner, including the 2020/21 Statement of Performance Expectations and the 2017 - 2021 Statement of Intent can be found at 

Legislation relating to the position can be viewed online at  This includes:



  • Children’s Commissioner Act 2003
  • Children, Young Persons and Their Families Act 1989
  • Crown Entities Act 2004


Recent changes


The Government is currently strengthening oversight of the Oranga Tamariki system. As part of this, a decision has been made to transfer the functions associated with the independent monitoring of the Oranga Tamariki system to a departmental agency hosted by the Education Review Office.

It is also proposed that the Children’s Commissioner will cease to be a corporation sole and that governance responsibilities will rest with Commissioner and a board of three to six members.

Precise details of these changes will be contained in legislation that will be considered by Parliament in 2021. If the legislation is passed the proposed changes are not expected to take effect until at least 2022/23.

For more information, please see the relevant press release: 



How to Apply


To apply, click the 'Apply Now' button to upload your CV, self-assessment form, and declaration form. In place of a cover letter, you are required to complete a self-assessment form, detailing your relevant skills and experience. 

You are also required to complete a declaration form, which outlines possible conflicts of interest and declares anything in your personal history that may compromise the integrity of the appointment.

All applications must be made online.  If this is not possible or if you have any queries, please contact us at  


Applications close: 5pm Friday 25 June