Commissioners and senior leadership

The Human Rights Commission currently has four Human Rights Commissioners. These include the Chief Commissioner, Race Relations Commissioner, Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner and Disability Rights Commissioner.

The Director of Human Rights Proceedings heads up an independent office within the Commission, the Office of Human Rights Proceedings, Te Tari Whakatau Take Tika Tangata.

The Commissioners and the Director must act independently and are supported by around 60 staff in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

The Governor-General appoints Commissioners on the recommendation of the Minister of Justice. The appointments process is run at the direction of the Minister of Justice, in accordance with the relevant legal framework and guidance. Read more about the appointment of Human Rights Commissioners here.

Current Commissioners

The Commissioners are responsible for the governance of our organisation. This includes defining our strategic direction and policies, undertaking international responsibilities and being accountable for our overall performance.

Commissioners are appointed by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the Minister of Justice, for terms of up to five years.

View the biography of each Commissioner by clicking on the links below:

Chief Human Rights Commissioner Paul Hunt

Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero MNZM

Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Saunoamaali’i Karanina Sumeo

Race Relations Commissioner, Meng Foon

Director of Human Rights Proceedings

The Office of Human Rights Proceedings (OHRP) is an independent office within the Human Rights Commission that provides free legal representation to complainants to take selected discrimination cases to the Human Rights Review Tribunal.

Click on the link to read the biography of the Director of Human Rights Proceedings.

Chief Executive and staff

The Chief Executive and staff are responsible for operations. This includes the implementation of Commission policies and all aspects of service delivery. Rebecca Elvy is the Chief Executive of the Human Rights Commission.

The senior leadership team are:

Chief Executive | Manahautū: Rebecca Elvy

Deputy Chief Executive | Pou Ārahi: Tricia Keelan

Chief Legal Advisor| Tumuaki Kaitohu Ture: John Hancock

Human Rights Advisory & Research | Kaiwhakahaere Tohutohu me te Rangaha Tika Tangata: Moira Lawler

Chief Mediator | Tumuaki Kaihohourongo: Peter Jackson

Commissioner Services Manager | Kaiwhakahaere Ratonga Kaihautū: Wendy Gillespie (Ngati Kahungunu)

People & Culture | Kaiwhakahaere Pūmanawa Tangata: Jeanie Truell

Finance & Business Services | Kaiwhakahaere Umanga Pakihi me te Pūtea: Grant McKenna 

Communications | Kaiwhakahaere Pae Tuku Kōrero: Alex van Wel

Commissioner Services: Hannah Northover

There are around 60 staff working for the Commission in three locations: Christchurch, Auckland and Wellington.

Former Commissioners

EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue (2013 - 2018)

Race Relations Commissioner Susan Devoy (2013 - 2018)

Chief Human Rights Commissioner David Rutherford (2011 - 2018)