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Families Commission Board appointments

Hon Paula Bennett
Minister for Social Development
Associate Minister of Housing

14 May 2013

Media Statement

Families Commission Board appointments

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett announces new Families Commission Board appointments and acknowledges an outgoing member.

Sir Wira Gardiner and Dr Parmjeet Parmar have been appointed to two vacant positions on the Board of the Families Commission, while Christine Rankin ends her term as Board member at the end of this month.

“I welcome Sir Wira and Dr Parmar to the Board with full confidence they will make a valuable contribution to the Families Commission,” says Mrs Bennett.

Sir Wira has held a number of senior positions including founding Director of the Waitangi Tribunal and Chief Executive of Te Puni Kōkiri. He is a Knight of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Māori.

Dr Parmar has a PhD in Biological Science and Chairs the New Zealand Sikh Women Association which supports victims of domestic violence. She also previously served on the Families Commission ethnic reference group.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Christine Rankin for her dedicated work for the Families Commission, in particular her unrelenting advocacy for the protection of children,” Mrs Bennett says.

The Families Commission is undergoing a restructure to assume its new role providing independent monitoring, evaluation and research which includes a new Social Policy Evaluation and Research Unit (SuPERU).

A number of other changes to functions and governance arrangements in the Families Commission Amendment Bill before the House include:

· A new annual Families Status Report on the well-being of families

· Social Science Experts Panel to provide academic peer review and guidance

· One Families Commissioner with a maximum of six other members

“Non-government organisations welcome the advent of an independent body that can provide robust evaluation and monitoring of their programmes.”

“This also supports the Government’s priority for evidence-based policy and funding decisions based on best evidence,” says Mrs Bennett.


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