Copyright Tribunal – Member

On behalf of the Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affars, the Ministry is seeking candidates who wish to be considered for appointment as a member of the Copyright Tribunal.

About the Board

The Copyright Tribunal (the Tribunal) is a statutory body with jurisdiction under the Copyright Act 1994 (the CA). The Tribunal currently consists of a Chairperson and four members appointed by the Governor‑General on the recommendation of the Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, and in the case of the Chairperson, following consultation with the Minister of Justice.


Under the CA, the Tribunal has two main roles:

  • to resolve disputes involving copyright licensing schemes operated by copyright management organisations; and
  • under the infringing file share regime, to hear and determine applications whether an internet account holder using peer-to-peer (P2P) filing sharing technologies has infringed copyright.

The purpose of the Tribunal is to ensure the reasonableness of the licence fee or any licencing terms to enable use of the copyright work under the licensing scheme.

The Tribunal has the power to review and amend licensing schemes that are referred to it, including the terms under which licences are granted and the fees payable by users.

In addition, the Tribunal may order an internet account holder to pay compensation to a copyright owner for infringing copyright using P2P technologies.

Board membership

Collective and individual duties

All Tribunal members, including the Chairperson, must act with commitment and integrity and be aware of the need to declare conflicts of interest (potential and actual). Tribunal members must be able to work effectively in a collegial decision-making environment and exercise the duties and responsibilities associated with the statutory position.

Time commitment and remuneration

Applications to the Tribunal to resolve licensing scheme disputes are infrequent. The last application to the Tribunal was made in 2015, but this was subsequently withdrawn. Previous applications to the Tribunal have typically involved large organisations, who pay significant licensing fees to use copyright works. Applications involving licensing scheme disputes would usually involve the Chairperson and two other Tribunal members hearing and determining the dispute.

Although a number of applications were made to the Tribunal to determine copyright infringements by internet account holders shortly after the infringing file sharing regime came into effect in 2012, the regime no longer appears to be in use by copyright owners. Only a small proportion of applications have proceeded to a hearing. Determinations will likely be made by one Tribunal member and reviewed by one or more other members at the discretion of the Chairperson.

The fees for Tribunal members are determined in accordance with the Cabinet Fees Framework. The current daily rate for a member is $521.00 per sitting day.

Person specifications

Specific skills required

Candidates are being sought with the following specific skills and experience:

  • Appreciation of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the applications of its principles into the work of the Tribunal.
  • Knowledge and understanding of the Wai 262 claim.

Additional skills, experience and attributes required

Appointments to the Tribunal are predicated on the values and ethos of public service. All members should have the following skills and expertise:

  • Relevant academic or copyright background, preferably in law, economics, commerce, or public administration.
  • Experience in, or the ability to, interpret legislation (experience in judicial or tribunal procedures may be an advantage).
  • Understanding of copyright issues, or experience in a sector involving works of copyright (such as the creative arts, publishing or audio-visual services).
  • Ability to assess economic evidence, or an understanding of the economic implications affecting copyright works and their owners and users.
  • Knowledge of the regulatory settings in New Zealand relating to copyright licensing, or copyright disputes, and familiarity with various approaches taken by relevant overseas jurisdictions.
  • Familiarity with the operation of the internet and related technology.
  • The ability to bring a diverse perspective to the Board.

Disclosure of interest

Section 31 of the Crown Entities Act 2004 (the CEA) requires that before a person is appointed as a member of a Crown entity, the person must:

  • consent in writing to being a member;
  • certify that they are not disqualified from being a member under section 30(2) of the CEA; and
  • disclose to the responsible Minister the nature and extent (including monetary value if quantifiable) of all interests that the person has at that time, or is likely to have, in matters relating to the entity.

As part of the appointment process, candidates are required to complete a Disclosure Form. The information that is disclosed by the candidates enables the responsible Minister to know the relevant interests and any conflicts that a person may have in relation to an appointment to an entity. The information is used to assess whether a candidate would be able to contribute effectively to the entity’s affairs and, where conflicts are identified, to ensure that these can be managed appropriately.

Additional information

For enquiries about the position, email:

The Minister is committed to considering candidates from a diverse range of backgrounds, including age, gender, ethnicity and geographic locations, to enable the Board to be high performing.