ILANZ, In-House Lawyers Association of New Zealand

Chairperson to the Trans-Tasman IP Attorneys Board - MBIE - Wellington

The Trans-Tasman IP Attorneys Board (the Board) administers the regulatory and disciplinary regime for patent attorneys in Australia and New Zealand, and trade marks attorneys in Australia. The Board is established under section 227A of the Australian Patents Act 1990 and consists of:

  • A Chairperson (rotating between a person from Australia and a person from New Zealand)
  • The Director General of IP Australia
  • The New Zealand Commissioners of Patents
  • Two New Zealand representatives of the patent attorney profession and five other members.

More information on the Board, including a description of its functions and responsibilities, can be found on its website (

Expressions of interest are invited from persons resident in New Zealand who wish to be considered to serve on the Board as its Chairperson. The Board will have a vacancy in this position after 14 October 2019, when the current Australian Chairperson's appointment expires. 

For the Chairperson's role the Government is looking for a New Zealand resident, who has the following skills and expertise:

  • Extensive governance experience and the ability to work collegially to get the best performance from the Board, including chairing meetings by:
    • Setting the Board's agenda
    • Ensuring sufficient time to cover issues
    • Ensuring that contributions are made by all Board members
    • Assisting discussions towards the emergence of a consensus view
    • Summing up so that everyone understands what has been agreed
    • The ability to analyse and understand complex issues
    • The ability make timely, principled, and analytically-robust decisions
    • An ability to lead peers
    • Being well-respected by the legal profession and, in particular, the patent attorney profession, in, at least, New Zealand
    • Free from material conflicts of interest.

The Chairperson is accountable and must report annually on the performance of the Board's functions and responsibilities, to the Australian Minister for Industry, Science and Technology and the New Zealand Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs.

The Chairperson is also expected to build and maintain effective and productive working relationships with the secretariat staff, who are provided to the Board by IP Australia.

Applicants are expected to have an up-to-date understanding and appreciation of the domestic and international intellectual property environment, changes potentially impacting on the patent and trade mark attorney professions, and the educational needs of those seeking registration.


The appointment is expected to be for a three-year period. The Chairperson, being a part-time public office holder, receives a daily sitting fee set by the Australian Remuneration Tribunal - currently AU$1,143.00 per day (approximately NZ$1,180.00 per day). The Chairperson is expected to be available for up to 10 days per year. This includes attending three Board meetings, each usually requiring two days of the Chairperson's time (excluding travel). In addition to the sitting fee, the Chairperson is entitled to an allowance for travel-related expenses as determined by the Australian Remuneration Tribunal.

Applicants are also advised that anyone appointed to the Board, including New Zealand residents, are deemed to be employees of the Australian Government and have to be paid their sitting fee and superannuation by the Government. Part of the onboarding process for the Chairperson will be registering for an Australian Tax File Number (TFN) with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) if they do not have a TFN. Persons interested in applying for this position are recommended to seek independent advice on any taxation implications arising from such an appointment before they express an interest in this position.

How to Apply

Please apply through the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment careers website and search for MBIE/1393169. You will need to complete the online application form and upload your CV and covering letter outlining your suitability for becoming the Chairperson of the Board. The names of two referees would be appreciated.

If you would like to discuss the functions and responsibilities of the Board, the role of Chairperson, or require further information about the position or how to apply, please contact George Wardle on (04) 474 2196 or

Expressions of Interest close at 5 pm on 4 June 2019.