Chief executive of Human Rights Commission resigns

After three years at the helm, Rebecca Elvy says it's the "right time to put my energy into a new role"

Chief executive of Human Rights Commission resigns

The chief executive of the New Zealand Human Rights Commission has resigned.

In a statement, the commission confirmed that chief executive Rebecca Elvy will be leaving after almost three years in the role and will be joining Tregaskis Brown in Wellington as a consulting partner in March.

Elvy said she was proud of what had been achieved during her time, particularly her oversight of the commission’s human rights response to COVID-19, revamping the processes for human rights complaints and enquiries, growing a positive organisational culture, working with tangata whenua towards becoming a Tiriti-based organisation, and implementing a strong programme management framework to align strategic advocacy to the needs of New Zealanders.

“I’ve loved the opportunity to work with an incredibly talented, passionate, and dedicated team who work tirelessly to support our mahi to make Aotearoa New Zealand a place where everyone enjoys a life of dignity,” said Elvy. “Having overseen several organisational projects that have transformed the Commission’s overall culture and services, I feel now is the right time to put my energy into a new role.”

“We will very much miss her leadership and sharp intelligence,” said Paul Hunt, the chief commissioner at the Human Rights Commission. “In multiple ways, Ms. Elvy has helped to reset the commission. We are very lucky to have benefitted from her skills and experience and wish her the very best.”

The commission said that it is now considering the possibility of co-leadership, consistent with its commitment to becoming a Tiriti-based organisation.

“We have a compelling opportunity to explore the possibility of co-chief executives,” said Hunt. “We intend to explore the literature and case studies about how co-leadership has operated in a range of contexts. We will discuss within government and beyond. Ms. Elvy will also assist with this process until she finishes in early March.”

In the meantime, the commission will appoint an acting chief executive while the extensive exploratory process of co-leadership gets underway. One - or two - permanent appointments are expected around October 2022.

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