On 8 December 2022, the Government announced the appointment of a Royal Commission of Inquiry to look at the lessons learned from Aotearoa New Zealand’s response to COVID-19 that should be applied in preparation for any future pandemic.

The Royal Commission is led by two Commissioners and supported by a Secretariat.

The Government has set the terms of reference for the overall Inquiry, including outlining our primary focus and providing guidance in terms of the way we operate and the procedures we follow.

For example, we’re directed to use the most efficient and least formal procedures to gather necessary information and evidence, in addition to what is already publicly available. 

This means that during the Inquiry, we’ll be engaging with a wide range of organisations and communities to gather and understand the relevant information that can help us understand the lessons Aotearoa New Zealand has learned from the pandemic.  

A forward-looking approach

Importantly, the Inquiry is taking a non-adversarial approach. Rather than looking to find fault or assign blame, we are focused on capturing the lessons learned from the pandemic so Aotearoa New Zealand is prepared for the future.

This means there won’t be any public hearings before Commissioners, for example. Instead, we’ll be holding a wide range of meetings and interviews with individuals, organisations and communities of interest, in order to gather the information and evidence to help inform our deliberations.

It’s important people can be free and frank with the Royal Commission so, for now, all information provided to the Inquiry that isn't already published, will be kept private and confidential. You can read more about meeting with the Inquiry and providing evidence in the documents below.

Please note, our procedural Minutes are now located on this page – Procedural Minutes (under 'The Inquiry' tab on our website).