Terms of Reference


The Library and Information Commission Nga Kaiwhakamārama i ngā Kohikohinga Kōrero (the Commission) is an unincorporated body, established under Section 22 of the National Library of New Zealand (Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa) Act 2003 (the Act) amended 2010. The Act provides the statutory framework for the Commission. The Department of Internal Affairs (the Department) provides the administrative services for the Commission. The Commission’s annual budget is provided through the National Library’s appropriation.

Objectives and Purpose

  • The Commission’s purpose is to provide advice to the Minister of Internal Affairs (the Minister) on library and information issues in New Zealand, including Mātauranga Māori, and access to library and information services;
  • the role of library and information services, including Mātauranga Māori, in the cultural and economic life of New Zealand; and
  • any other matters requested by the Minister.

At the start of each calendar year, the Commission will agree an annual work programme with the Minister. The Commission must report to the Minister each year on the performance of its functions during the preceding year. This report will normally be provided by the first week in February. Any other reports arising from the work programme will be delivered in a timely fashion.

Before giving advice to the Minister, the Commission must, to the extent practicable, have regard to:

  • recent national and international developments in relation to library and information services; and
  • appropriate means for promoting collaboration among persons and institutions (e.g. museums, libraries and archives) in relation to protecting, preserving, and promoting access to information, including documentary heritage and Mātauranga Māori.


The Minister will appoint a Chair from amongst its members. The Chair will be appointed for a period of three years.


The Commission consists of up to six members and the National Librarian as an ex-officio member. Members must be persons who have special knowledge or qualifications that are relevant to the purpose and functions of the Commission in the Minister’s opinion. The Minister is able to appoint any other persons who have the appropriate experience, knowledge and skills. Membership can be varied from time to time as the Minister sees fit.

Terms of Appointment of Members

Appointment to this body is for a fixed term of up to three years and appointments may be renewed. No member may serve more than six years in total.

Meeting Frequency

The Commission must meet at least four times in each year. The venue for the meetings will be in a location that is appropriate at the time. Pursuant to the work programme, other meetings may be arranged as required. There will be an agenda for each meeting.


The Department will provide secretariat support.


Fees for the Commission have been set at $330 per day for members and $440 per day for the Chair. Members of the Commission will be paid fees and travelling allowances under the Fees and Travelling Allowances Act 1951. Under the Cabinet-approved ‘Fees Framework for Members of Statutory and Other Bodies Appointed by the Crown’ the Commission is classified as Group 4, Level 3.

Sector coverage

The Commission’s work will include consultation and collaboration with public and private institutions in the culture and heritage, education, ICT, research, and library and information sectors. These institutions must include museums, libraries and archives.


The Commission may propose research projects to the Minister to support its advice and reporting function.

Overall expectations


The Minister has the broad expectation that the Commission will:

  • provide strategic thinking and advice on the library and information sector – in its broadest sense. It will provide a collective view of issues, options and opportunities in a fast-changing environment;
  • will take a broad view of the issues confronting the sector;
  • will serve as a forum for strategic debate in the library and information sector. It will be familiar with key and emergent issues at a national and international level. It’s work will promote high-level partnerships and collaboration with related sectors, such as education and culture and heritage; and
  • the work programme will draw on, and collaborate with, other agencies and initiatives involved in community, economic and cultural development.

Specific projects

In addition to the provision of advice and reports arising from the work programme, the Commission may undertake specific longer-term projects related to strategies in the library and information area, agreed by the Minister.