Establishing the Climate Change Commission

people climbing hill to wind turbine at Makara

About the establishment of the Climate Change Commission. The registration of interest process for Climate Change Commission roles has now closed.

Establishing the commission

The Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill (the bill) provides a framework for reducing emissions by 2050 and achieving a climate resilient future. This includes the establishment of an independent Climate Change Commission. The bill is currently going through the parliamentary process [New Zealand Parliament Pāramata Aotearoa website]. It is expected to be enacted by the end of 2019. The commission would be operational shortly afterwards.  

In preparation for the anticipated passing of the bill, MfE has set up an establishment team to do preparatory work so the commission can be operating as soon as possible after the bill is passed.  

Cabinet agreed that the work of the establishment team include, but not be limited to: 

  • undertaking the appointment process to identify a list of potential candidates for the commission members
  • initiating the process for appointing the chief executive – so the commission can consider candidates and make an appointment immediately on taking office 
  • working with the interim committee and its secretariat to design a process for the transfer of analysis, evidence and necessary staff, and investigate operational matters such as premises, office equipment; and
  • preparing potential organisational structures and processes for the commission based on the functions being proposed. 

The establishment team is made up of individuals from MfE, the Interim Climate Change Committee and PwC. It is hosted within MfE.

Commission's kaupapa

The commission’s kaupapa is to provide independent expert advice to the Government and to monitor and review its progress towards emissions reduction and adaptation goals. This means it will have a significant role in guiding Aotearoa New Zealand’s economic transition towards a low carbon economy.  

About the commissioner roles

The commission needs the best quality talent. The registration of interest process has now closed and we are currently considering applications received for candidates that can form the inaugural Commission.  In particular we are looking for exceptional governance leaders who can partner with others to guide Aotearoa towards a carbon free future.  

See role requirements below:

Chair (PDF, 891 KB)
Deputy Chair (PDF, 867 KB)
Commissioners (five) (PDF, 870 KB)

If you have any questions email

Appointment to the position of chairperson designate

On 8 October 2019, Minister James Shaw announced the appointment of Dr. Rod Carr to the position of chairperson designate for the Climate Change Commission.

The term of Dr. Carr’s appointment in its designate capacity will commence immediately and remain in place until the enactment of the Bill. Subject to the passage of the bill, we envisage Dr. Carr’s formal appointment will happen once the bill is enacted.  

The process for appointing the remaining commissioners is ongoing.

Interim Climate Change Committee extension

The timeframe for the delivery of the plausible pathways report within the Interim Climate Change Committee Terms of Reference has been extended to 24 December 2019. The extension will help to ensure that the Commission is well positioned to deliver emissions budgets in 2021.

Some Committee members will operate in a reduced capacity as we prepare for the transition to the Commission.

We’d like to thank the Interim Climate Change Committee for their excellent work and we appreciate their continued support.

Please note the registration of interest process has closed. The content below is provided for reference only.

What happens once I register or nominate someone?

If you nominate someone – the Ministry (MfE) will contact the nominee to check if they want to register.  
If you register yourself – the Ministry will provide all information you submit through the ROI to the Minister to assist in his deliberation of candidates.  All candidates will be notified of the outcome of the Minister’s deliberations. Depending on the number of applicants this may take some time, the Ministry will look to keep candidates informed along the way.

What will happen to my information? 

This information will be collected for the purpose of assisting the Minister to make recommendations for inaugural appointments to the Climate Change Commission. MfE will store and manage all information received in line with the Privacy Act 1993 and other legal obligations. In practice, MfE will treat registrations in the same way that it manages all applications of employment.  Information will only be accessible by those that need to see it for administrative purposes, and these individuals are subject to confidentiality obligations. Although we ask you to indicate your preference, unless otherwise specified in your cover letter, the information you submit will be considered for both roles. All candidates will be contacted prior to appointment to ensure they are aware of the role they are being appointed to.

We intend to evaluate candidates against the requirements of Commissioner set out in the draft Bill and against the following three criteria:

  • Background/experience  
  • Skills and knowledge  
  • Personal attributes  

Why is MfE starting recruitment now when the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill is not enacted yet? 

In accordance with Cabinet’s wishes, MfE is undertaking a range of preparation and planning activities to ensure the commission is ready as soon as the bill is enacted. This includes undertaking recruitment processes for key roles. However, no formal appointments will be made until the bill is enacted.
What if I have any further questions? 

If you have any questions or feedback on this process email

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