The Children’s Commissioner, Judge Andrew Becroft, has agreed to remain in office for an extra four months while his successor is found, Social Development and Employment Minister Carmel Sepuloni said today.
Judge Becroft will have spent five years in the role as of 30 June 2021. This is the standard term for a Children’s Commissioner, but he has agreed to continue until 31 October.
“Judge Becroft is a tireless advocate for our tamariki who has done an exemplary job in the role of Commissioner and will leave a powerful legacy,” Carmel Sepuloni said.
“His outstanding work, bringing the voices of children and young people into policy conversations on their wellbeing, and advocating for action on poverty, has made a real difference.
“The wellbeing of young people is a priority for this Government and it is vital we have an independent and vocal voice as Children’s Commissioner. Judge Becroft has fulfilled that role admirably.
“Alongside this, his role in continuing the work reviewing the age of criminal responsibility has advanced the Government’s understanding of this key issue and he has helped cement New Zealand’s world-leading reputation in youth justice.
“He has also worked hard to prioritise the needs of tamariki and rangatahi Māori. I am grateful Judge Becroft has agreed to stay on a few months longer while we run the process for finding the next Commissioner,” Carmel Sepuloni said.
Judge Becroft was appointed Children’s Commissioner in 2016, having been New Zealand’s Principal Youth Court Judge.
Details of the process for finding a new Commissioner are currently being finalised and a call for applications will be made shortly.