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Ministers' Roles as Owners

Page updated 12 Apr 2016

Ministers are responsible to Parliament for overseeing and managing the Crown’s interests in, and relationships with, the various entities that fall within their portfolios. The table below identifies which Minister is responsible for each of the entities that the Treasury monitors.

There are two types of Ministers: Shareholding Ministers and Responsible Ministers.

  • Crown-owned companies have Shareholding Ministers. The Minister of Finance is always one Shareholding Minister to ensure that the Crown's economic and financial objectives are considered. The second Minister (the portfolio Minister) has specific responsibility for an individual company or group of companies and generally takes a more active role, particularly in their capacity as the formal point of contact with boards.
  • Any other companies that the Crown holds some shares in also have Shareholding Minister(s).
  • Where the entity is not a company, it usually has one Responsible Minister although occasionally there are two Responsible Ministers.


Information on the governance and accountability regime is detailed in the Owner's Expectations Manual. The manual is designed to help boards operate efficiently in their roles and to clarify their responsibilities. It also takes account of the particular expectations of board members in companies owned by the Crown, as opposed to private or publicly listed companies.
Boards are the primary monitor of an entity’s performance and governance and are accountable to one or more Ministers for those functions. Notwithstanding the different establishment frameworks of entities, the frameworks all provide for the participation of Ministers (with differing rights and restrictions) in strategy setting, requesting information and monitoring the performance of each entity. 

Commercial Operations Group as Monitors

The roles of Shareholding and/or Responsible Minister(s) place heavy demands on Ministers. These demands can be eased by giving Ministers access to advisors with an understanding of the key issues at the strategic, public policy and entity levels, and can support the Minister in making board appointments. This role is mostly filled by departments who, in this particular role are called the monitoring department. The monitoring department provides advice on entity performance which enables the Minister(s) to hold the boards of the entities accountable. There can be more than one monitoring department, although this is not the norm. 
The Commercial Operations Group is the monitoring department for government entities that are operating as companies, some government entities that have commercial imperatives, and some companies where the Crown holds shares.   
Understanding the Crown's Commercial Portfolio
The diagram above shows where the Commercial Operations Group fits in relation to the Minister(s) and the government entities.

State-Owned Enterprises


  • Airways Corporation of New Zealand Ltd (Airways)
  • AsureQuality Ltd (AsureQuality)
  • Electricity Corporation of New Zealand Ltd (ECNZ)
  • Kordia Group Ltd (Kordia)
  • Landcorp Farming Ltd (Landcorp)
  • Meteorological Service of New Zealand Ltd (MetService)
  • New Zealand Post Group (NZ Post)
  • New Zealand Railways Corporation (KiwiRail)
  • Quotable Value Ltd (Quotable Value)
  • Solid Energy New Zealand Ltd (Solid Energy)
  • Transpower New Zealand Ltd (Transpower)
  • Animal Control Products Ltd (ACP)
  • Learning Media Ltd (LML)
  • Education Payroll Ltd.

Crown Research Institutes[1]

(from 1/2/2011 joint responsibility with Ministry of Science & Innovation)


  • AgResearch Ltd (AgResearch)
  • Institute of Environmental Science & Research Ltd (ESR)
  • Institute of Geological & Nuclear Sciences Ltd (GNS Science)
  • Landcare Research New Zealand Ltd (Landcare Research)
  • National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research Ltd (NIWA)
  • New Zealand Forest Research Institute Ltd (Scion)
  • The New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research Ltd (Plant & Food Research)

Crown Entity Companies


  • New Zealand Venture Investment Fund Ltd (NZVIF)
  • Crown Irrigation Investments Ltd.
  • Fairway Resolutions Ltd.
  • Radio New Zealand Ltd (RNZ)
  • Television New Zealand Ltd (TVNZ)

Companies listed on Schedule 4A of the Public Finance Act 1989


  • Crown Fibre Holdings Ltd (CFH)
  • Crown Asset Management Ltd (CAML)
  • Southern Response Earthquake Services Ltd
  • Tamaki Redevelopment Company Ltd
  • The Network for Learning (N4L)
  • Ōtākaro Ltd

Other Entities


Statutory Crown Entities

  • Earthquake Commission (EQC)[1]
  • Government Superannuation Fund Authority (GSF)[1]
  • New Zealand Lotteries Commission (Lotteries)
  • New Zealand Superannuation Fund (NZSF)[1]
  • Public Trust (Public Trust)
  • Housing New Zealand Corporation


Other Statutory Boards

  • National Provident Fund (NPF)[1]

Mixed Ownership


  • Air New Zealand Ltd
  • Genesis Energy
  • Meridian Energy
  • Mighty River Power
Council-controlled trading organisations Minister(s)
  • New Zealand Local Government Funding Agency
  • Christchurch International Airport Ltd (CIAL)
  • Dunedin International Airport Ltd (DIAL)
  • Hawke’s Bay Airport Ltd (HBAL)


  • [1] The entities are also known as the Crown Financial Institutions (CFIs). All these entities have specific responsibilities relating to the management and investment of significant financial assets. The Treasury also monitors the investments of the Accident Compensation Corporation.
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