Modernising the governance of the New Zealand Council for Educational Research (NZCER)
New legislation allows the Council to operate more flexibly and efficiently and updates or removes outdated processes, language and terminology. The enabling legislation is the New ZealandCouncil of Educational Research Act 1972. The amendment to the New Zealand Council for Educational Research Act 1972 was made by way of the Education Legislation Act 2016 that came into force on 29 October 2016.
Previously the Council had 6 elected members, 2 co-optees and one Governor-General appointee. The Act had provisions for an electoral college and the membership was updated by Order in Council. The Act did not include expectations about the qualities and capabilities of the Council and its members.
Impact of the legislation
The main changes are to the composition of the Council, introducing appointment criteria for Council positions and streamlining election and appointment processes. The Council will be made up of five elected members, three members appointed by the Council and one appointment made by the Minister of Education. The change will enable the Council to make rules for elections, such as an electoral college.
Why the change?
The new composition retains the majority of elected members on the Council and allows for 4 appointments aligned to the strategic needs of the organisation.
The new membership and appointment criteria assist the Council and the Minister to make their respective appointments based on a candidate’s potential contribution to the NZCER. The Council must ensure there is a diversity of education sector perspectives on the Council. The Council and the Minister must have regard for the collective skills, experience, and knowledge of the Council overall, and must appoint people with relevant knowledge, skills and experience so the Council can undertake its responsibilities, functions, and powers.
The Council considers that it is important to retain the current use of an electoral college for NZCER elections. It enables stakeholders to have input into the NZCER and it helps preserve NZCER’s role as an independent education research organisation.
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