New Children’s Commissioner appointed

  • Anne Tolley
Social Development

Social Development Minister Anne Tolley has announced that Judge Andrew Becroft has been appointed as the new Children’s Commissioner.

Judge Becroft, who is currently New Zealand’s Principal Youth Court Judge, will take up the role in July.

“The Children’s Commissioner is an independent advocate for the interests, rights and wellbeing of children in New Zealand,” says Mrs Tolley.

“Judge Becroft comes into the role at a time of major change and I have no doubt he is the right person at the right time, and that he will do a fantastic job.

“His input will be invaluable as we transform our care and protection system through the radical changes I recently announced, to focus on the short and long-term wellbeing of our children through to adulthood.

“Judge Becroft’s experience of dealing with troubled and at-risk young people will be vital in the development of a youth justice service aimed at preventing offending and reoffending as part of the major overhaul. His opinions will also be important as we investigate raising the youth justice age to include 17 year olds.

“I want to acknowledge the tremendous work done by the outgoing Commissioner, Dr Russell Wills, whose advocacy for vulnerable young Kiwis has been extremely important. He has never shied away from voicing strong opinions, always with the best interests of children in mind, which is crucial to the job of Commissioner. 

“Judge Becroft, who has been appointed full-time for a two-year term, will also provide advice on how the role of the Children’s Commissioner may evolve as the new operating model for care and protection is implemented.”

In order to take up the new position Judge Becroft will resign from his position as Principal Youth Court Judge, and will be on secondment from his duties as a District Court judge.

Note to editors:

His Honour Judge Andrew Becroft was appointed a District Court Judge in 1996 and appointed to the role of Principal Youth Court Judge of New Zealand in 2001.

He assisted with the establishment of the Mangere Community Law Centre, and worked as a criminal barrister in South Auckland until his appointment to the District Court bench, sitting in Whanganui.

Judge Becroft is the Patron of the New Zealand Speak Easy Association Inc., which assists those with various forms of speech impediment, and is the Chairperson of the Board of the Tertiary Students Christian Fellowship (NZ) Inc. He is married with three children, aged 20, 19 and 15.