Being on a board FAQs

Answers to some common questions about nominations and governance appointments

If you have a question that is not listed here, email [email protected]

What does a board do?
A board is a group of people who provide leadership, strategic direction and financial oversight for an organisation. Board members will focus on the high-level and strategic planning, providing advice and making decisions, rather than day to day operations on the ground.

The board will make sure that:

  • Finances are sound.
  • Operations are legal.
  • Procedures are working.
  • Assets are safe.
  • All tasks are carried out in the public interest.

Learn more about governance and board roles on the Institute of Directors New Zealand website

What are my chances of being appointed?
It depends on how well your skills and experience match that of the position. A single vacancy can receive 100 nominations. Several government agencies may provide nominations, as well as non-government organisations. Some positions are also advertised on social media channels and newspapers inviting people to apply directly.

How can I increase my chances of being appointed?
There are a number of things you could do to increase your chances of being appointed:

  • Provide as much detail as you can when you fill out our nomination’s application form. Our Nominations Service can only work with the information you provide, so it is essential that you complete all parts of our form.
  • Talk to people who have held governance roles and become familiar with the responsibilities and commitment required.
  • Become involved in governance roles in local community organisations or professional associations and build your way up to regional and national level roles. For example, you may consider standing for your children’s schools board of trustees, or the board of a local community organisation.
  • Keep an eye out for upcoming governance roles that interest you where you can show that you meet the requirements.

Where can I find board roles?

  • Follow the Ministry for Pacific Peoples on Linkedin where we will share governance opportunities as we become aware of them.
  • State sector board roles are often advertised under the “Boards and Governance” category on the jobs.govt.nz website.
  • Sign up to receive updates from Appoint Better Boards about current governance vacancies.
  • Seek Volunteer is a useful place to search for current voluntary and entry level community governance opportunities.

I am a Public Servant. Can I be appointed to a Board?
We don’t appoint Public Servants to government boards and committees, unless they have a specific skillset required that cannot be provided by candidates outside the public service.

How long will I serve on a Board?
Most appointment terms are for three to five years.

Will I be paid?
Most positions on boards pay meeting fees, and most reimburse travel expenses. It is important to consider the commitment and financial cost of an appointment before you agree to it.
How much time is involved?
This depends on the board and role. It is common for boards to meet for a half or whole day each month. Preparation time might add another one to two days’ work per month.

How much time is involved?
This depends on the board in question. It is common for boards to meet for a half or whole day each month. Preparation time might add another one to two days work per month.

What happens to my application form?
The information on your form is stored in our database.
When the Ministry nominates you for a role, we send a copy of your details to the appointing agency and possibly to Ministerial Offices that are involved in the appointments process.

When should I update my details?
Contact us as soon as the information on your CV changes, but particularly if your contact details change, otherwise we will not be able to contact you if a suitable position becomes available.

Should I define my special interests?
Yes. We are always happy to hear from people on our database who express an interest in a particular Board or portfolio as this information helps us identify suitable vacancies for you.

How often (and why) can I expect to hear from the Ministry?
We may be in contact:

  • If we receive nominations requests that matches your skills and experience.
  • To invite you to directly apply for nominations opportunities that may be available on other Appointing Organisations websites.
  • If we require your updated CV.
  • At least every 6 months or more regularly depending on the type of nominations requests we receive.

Which other government agencies operate nominations services?
We are one of several government agencies who nominate people for positions on government boards and committees such as:

  • Te Puni Kokiri
  • Ministry for Women
  • Office of Ethnic Communities
  • Office for Disability Issues
  • Ministry of Consumer Affairs