Families Commission Amendment Act 2014

Coat of Arms of New Zealand

Families Commission Amendment Act 2014

Public Act2014 No 9
Date of assent24 March 2014
Commencementsee section 2

The Parliament of New Zealand enacts as follows:

1 Title
  • This Act is the Families Commission Amendment Act 2014.

2 Commencement
  • This Act comes into force on the day after the date on which it receives the Royal assent.

Part 1
Amendments to Families Commission Act 2003

3 Principal Act
4 Section 4 amended (Interpretation)
  • In section 4, repeal the definition of Commissioner.

5 Section 6 amended (Commission established)
  • In section 6, insert as subsections (2) and (3):

    • (2) The Commission is a Crown entity for the purposes of section 7 of the Crown Entities Act 2004.

    • (3) The Crown Entities Act 2004 applies to the Commission except to the extent that this Act expressly provides otherwise.

6 Section 7 replaced (Commission's main function)
  • Replace section 7 with:

    7 Commission's main functions
    • The Commission's main functions are—

      • (a) to act as an advocate for the interests of families generally (the advocacy function); and

      • (b) to monitor and evaluate programmes and interventions in the social sector, and provide social science research into key issues, programmes, and interventions across that sector (the monitoring, evaluation, and research function).

7 Section 8 amended (Commission's additional functions)
  • (1) In the heading to section 8, replace additional functions with advocacy function.

    (2) In section 8, replace main function stated in section 7 with advocacy function.

    (3) After section 8(b), insert:

    • (ba) to prepare and publish an annual Families Status Report that measures and monitors the well-being of New Zealand families:.

    (4) In section 8, insert as subsections (2) and (3):

    • (2) The advocacy function does not include acting as an advocate for the interests of a particular family or particular families in connection with a particular case or issue.

    • (3) In performing its advocacy function, the Commission must identify and have regard to factors that help to maintain or enhance either or both of the following:

      • (a) families' resilience:

      • (b) families' strengths.

8 New section 8A inserted (Commission's monitoring, evaluation, and research function)
  • After section 8, insert:

    8A Commission's monitoring, evaluation, and research function
    • (1) In order to perform its monitoring, evaluation, and research function, the Commission has the following additional functions:

      • (a) to identify evidence and research that will assist in determining or achieving the Government's policies and priorities in the social sector:

      • (b) to commission social science research in the social sector on behalf of the Government and others:

      • (c) to manage contracts for social science research in the social sector on behalf of the Government and others:

      • (d) to set standards and specify best practice for monitoring and evaluating programmes and interventions in the social sector:

      • (e) to establish and maintain a database of social science research undertaken by or on behalf of the Government.

      (2) When monitoring or evaluating programmes and interventions as part of its monitoring, evaluation, and research function, the Commission must act independently of the programmes and interventions being monitored or evaluated.

9 Section 13 amended (Mechanisms for obtaining views of specified groups)
  • In section 13(1), replace powers and functions with advocacy function and associated powers.

10 Cross-heading above section 15 replaced
  • Replace the cross-heading above section 15 with:

    Members of Commission.

11 Section 17 repealed (Commission is Crown entity)
12 Section 18 amended (Membership of Commission)
13 New sections 18A to 18C and cross-heading inserted
  • After section 18, insert:

    18A Families Commissioner
    • (1) The Minister must appoint 1 member to be the Families Commissioner.

      (2) The functions of the Families Commissioner are as determined by the Commission.

    Social Science Experts Panel

    18B Social Science Experts Panel
    • (1) A Social Science Experts Panel is established.

      (2) The Panel's function is to provide academic peer review of any research, evaluations, standards, reports, or other publications done or issued by or on behalf of the Commission, and otherwise to provide guidance to the Commission.

    18C Membership of Social Science Experts Panel
    • (1) The Social Science Experts Panel comprises a minimum of 4 members.

      (2) Each member of the Panel must be appointed by the Commission on the joint recommendation of—

      • (a) the Minister; and

      • (b) the person (if any) appointed as principal adviser to the Prime Minister on science matters or, if there is no such person, the chief executive of the department responsible for science matters.

      (3) The Commission must appoint 1 member of the Panel to be its chairperson.

      (4) Every member of the Panel may be appointed for a period of up to 3 years and may be reappointed at the expiry of each term of appointment.

      (5) Clause 14(2) of Schedule 5 of the Crown Entities Act 2004 applies with respect to the appointment of a person to the Panel as if the person were to be appointed as a member of a committee appointed by the board of the Commission under clause 14(1) of that schedule.

      (6) Clause 15 of Schedule 5 of the Crown Entities Act 2004 applies to each member of the Panel as if he or she were a member of a committee appointed by the board of the Commission under clause 14(1) of that schedule.

Part 2
Transitional provisions

14 Transitional provisions relating to members of Commission
  • (1) On the day on which this Act comes into force,—

    • (a) the Chief Families Commissioner is renamed the Families Commissioner and holds office as the chairperson of the Commission in accordance with Schedule 5 of the Crown Entities Act 2004; and

    • (b) the Deputy Chief Families Commissioner (if any) ceases to be called a Commissioner but holds office as the deputy chairperson of the Commission in accordance with Schedule 5 of the Crown Entities Act 2004; and

    • (c) all other Commissioners cease to be called Commissioners but remain as members of the Commission.

    (2) Except as provided in subsection (1), nothing in that subsection or in any other changes made by this Act affects the terms and conditions of appointment of any member of the Commission appointed before this Act comes into force.


Legislative history

28 May 2012Introduction (Bill 26–1)
24 July 2012First reading and referral to Social Services Committee
13 November 2012Report of the Social Services Committee (Bill 26–2)
2 July 2013Second reading
11 March 2014Committee of the whole House
19 March 2014Third reading
24 March 2014Royal assent

This Act is administered by the Ministry of Social Development.