Board members standing for Parliament
While board members are encouraged to participate in the democratic process as individuals, board members are expected to avoid perceived or actual conflicts of interest, including any that relate to political activity.
See Ministers’ expectations of Board members standing for Parliament here.
Board members who are thinking of standing for election are advised to discuss it with their Chair and monitoring department.
The Crown Entities Act 2004 (CE Act) explicitly addresses the effects of being elected on board roles. Members of Parliament are disqualified from being board members of Crown entity companies (s 89 CE Act) while appointed board members of statutory Crown entities (ie, Crown agents, autonomous Crown entities and independent Crown entities) immediately cease to hold office upon becoming Members of Parliament (s 45 CE Act); and elected members of statutory Crown entities may retain their board positions while concurrently serving as Members of Parliament (s 30(3) CE Act).
In addition, s 97 of the CE Act provides that a Crown entity parent company must ensure, to the extent that it is reasonably able to do so, that none of its Crown entity subsidiaries has a Member of Parliament as a member.
See the Crown Entities Act 2004
While conflicts arising from personal political interests may continue post-election and must be managed, in general, a board member who has stood down from their board role to campaign and is not elected, can return to their board role.