1 November 2023  Media Releases

New Chief Children’s Commissioner dedicated to making real change

Dr Claire Achmad is Aotearoa New Zealand’s new Chief Children’s Commissioner, leading Mana Mokopuna - Children and Young People’s Commission.

She takes over the role today from Judge Frances Eivers, who will return to the bench after two years in the job.

Dr Achmad says she will use her role to advocate for all mokopuna in Aotearoa.

“More than a million children and young people didn’t get to vote in our recent election, but decisions we make every day affect their lives – today and into the future. They have a right to be heard and participate fully in society.

“Young people have incredible ideas and are wise about the big issues facing us as a country and as a world. Working for and with them as Chief Children’s Commissioner is a great responsibility.”

“I’m excited to hear from tamariki and rangatahi about the issues that matter to them. I’ll be listening to them deeply, and to their whānau, hapū, iwi and the communities and groups wrapped around them, to ensure their experiences, ideas and aspirations inform our advocacy,” she says.

A recognised advocate for children here and internationally, Dr Achmad, who was raised in West Auckland, is of New Zealand and Indonesian heritage. She has worked in a wide range of areas relating to children's rights, including from legal, policy and practice perspectives.

Dr Achmad is the first Chief Children’s Commissioner after Judge Eivers to lead Mana Mokopuna – Children and Young People’s Commission.

Formerly the Office of the Children’s Commissioner, Mana Mokopuna was established when the Children and Young People’s Commission Act 2022 came into effect on 1 July of this year.

As an Independent Crown Entity, Mana Mokopuna is governed by a board led by Dr Achmad, Deputy Chair Donna Matahaere-Atariki, Ronelle Baker, Josiah Tualamali'i, and Dr Julie Wharewera-Mika.

Dr Achmad holds a doctorate in international children’s rights law from the Netherlands, has worked for children’s rights organisations in Aotearoa, Australia and overseas and has been published internationally on a range of children’s rights issues. Most recently, she was CEO of Social Service Providers Te Pai Ora o Aotearoa.

Dr Achmad has been appointed for a term of five years.

“Together with my colleagues, I’ll be working for and with mokopuna and their whānau, hapū, iwi and wider communities to shape positive progress, and holding decision-makers accountable for ensuring all children grow up experiencing their full and flourishing potential, loved, safe and well, with hope for the future,” she says.

“I look forward to shining a light on the many incredible contributions mokopuna are making every day to our country, and to advocating for systemic change on some of the most pressing challenges affecting children’s lives, so they experience real, tangible progress.”


Dr Claire Achmad is available for interviews. Please contact:

Melissa Wastney (she/her)
Kaitohutohu Matua – Senior Communications and Media Advisor
Mana Mokopuna | Children and Young People's Commission
029 909 2715