Royal Commissions

Part of the McGuinness Institute’s CivicsNZ project 

Table 1 provides a list of all Royal Commissions established in New Zealand. The McGuinness Institute found that there is no singular platform that holds a comprehensive collection of historical Royal Commissions; this page and Working Paper 2020/10 – A List of Royal Commissions since 1868 aim to fill in this gap. We have been unable to find a copy of some commissions’ reports; in these cases we have simply added some evidence that shows the commission existed. If you have or know where we could find a copy of any of these reports, please let us know at This page is up to date as at 15 March 2022.

* = PDF not found
# = Ongoing


Table 1: Royal Commissions since 1868

DatePublication title
2020#Abuse in state care and in the care of faith-based institutions
2020Terrorist attack on Christchurch masjidain on 15 March 2019
2012Building failure caused by the Canterbury earthquakes
2012Pike River coal mine tragedy
2009Auckland governance
2001Genetic modification
1988Social policy
1986Electoral system
1986*Broadcasting and related telecommunications in New Zealand
1981 The crash on Mt Erebus, Antarctica of a DC10 aircraft operated by Air New Zealand Limited
1980The circumstances of the convictions of Arthur Allan Thomas for the murders of David Harvey Crewe and Jeanette Lenore Crewe
1980* Māori Land Court
1978*The Courts
1978 Nuclear power generation
1977*Contraception, sterilisation and abortion
1975*Sale of liquor in New Zealand
1974*Future use of Rangatira B and C Blocks
1973*Parliamentary salaries and allowances
1973Hospital and related services
1972*Social security
1972*Salary and wage fixing procedures in the New Zealand State Services
1972*Handling of containers, seafreighters and unitised cargo (containers commission)
1970*Parliamentary salaries and allowances
1970*Horse racing, trotting and dog racing in New Zealand
1968*Parliamentary salaries and allowances
1968Salary and wage fixing procedures in the New Zealand State Services
1967Compensation for personal injury [accidents]
1964*Parliamentary salaries and allowances
1962*State services in New Zealand
1961*Parliamentary salaries and allowances
1959*Parliamentary salaries and allowances
1959*Local authority finance
1958*Parliamentary salaries and allowances
1957*D.I.C. scaffolding accident, Wellington
1956Monetary, banking and credit systems
1955*Parliamentary salaries and allowances
1952*New Zealand Government Railways
1952*Waterfront industry in New Zealand [Act is passed in 1950]
1951*Parliamentary salaries and allowances
1951*Desirability of establishing an additional meat-export slaughterhouse in Southland
1951*Matters and questions relating to certain leases of Maori lands vested in Maori Land Boards
1951*Claims preferred by certain Maori claimants concerning the payment of certain moneys by the Aotea District Maori Land Board in respect of the West Taupo Timber Lands, Tarawera and Tataraakina Blocks, the Mohaka Block, and the Opouturi Block
1950Claims made by certain Maoris in respect of the Wanganui River
1949Sheep-farming industry in New Zealand
1948Assessment of rentals under the West Coast Settlement Reserves Leases
1948Ballantyne fire, Christchurch
1948Gaming and racing
1948Claims preferred by certain claimants concerning the Pukeroa-Oruawhata (Rotorua township) Block
1948 Claims preferred by certain Maori claimants concerning the Mokau (Manginangina) Block
1948 Claims preferred by certain Maori claimants concerning the Mahia Block
1948Claims preferred by members of the Maori race touching certain lands known as surplus lands of the Crown [land disputes]
1946Trans-harbour facilities in the Auckland metropolitan area and the approaches thereto [railway and roading]
1946 Acquisition and disposal of surplus assets by the War Assets Realization Board [governance and accountability]
1946Licensing [manufacture, importation and supply of intoxicating liquors]
1941Kaye’s mine [colliery accident at Ten-Mile Creek, near Greymouth]
1940Glen Afton collieries [coal mine]
1939Orakei lands [grievances alleged by Māori with regard to certain lands at Ōrākei, in the city of Auckland]
1930 Special land-tax [on any cases of hardship arising from the Land and Income Tax Amendment Act 1929]
1930Waitemata Harbour transit facilities [building a bridge across the Waitematā Harbour]
1929Waikato-Maniapoto Native Land Court District [leases of native lands]
1928Confiscated native lands and other grievances [by Māori]
1928Administration of Western Samoa [complaints]
1927*Water supplies for the metropolitan area and the city of Auckland
1927Harbour Board matters at Napier
1927Dobson Colliery disaster [coal mine]
1926Rural credits [providing farmers with further financial assistance]
1925University education in New Zealand
1925Sale of the Poverty Bay Farmers’ Meat Company (Limited) to Messrs Vestey Bros (Limited) and other matters
1924Land and income taxation in New Zealand
1922 Rotorua–Taupo railway
1918Defence Department Expenditure
1915Regulation of Trade and Commerce Act 1914
1914Mining districts in Nelson, Marlborough, and Westland [administration and disposal of the land, forests and timber belonging to the Crown]
1914Hauraki mining district and Te Aroha township [administration and disposal of Crown land, forests, and timber and also land-tenures in Te Aroha township]
1914Huntly mining accident
1914Explosives in New Zealand [care and carriage]
1913Forestry [whether forests should be retained for conservation or used for settlement or timber production]
1912Cost of living in New Zealand [review on extent of increase]
1912Mines [health and safety of miners]
1911Kaiapoi Reserve [land]
1910Auckland City and suburban electric tramways
1909Police Force of New Zealand
1908Auckland electric tramways [efficiency and working of the brakes
1907Nightcaps coal-mine disaster [on 21 June 1907]
1907*Native lands and native-land tenure
1907Fires on wool-ships
1906Te Aute and Wanganui School Trusts [land ceded to the Crown]
1906West Coast Settlement Reserves [complaints against the Public Trustee]
1906Usury on loans to Maoris
1905Porirua, Otaki, Waikato, Kaikokirikiri and Motueka School Trusts
1905Police Force of New Zealand [receipt of stolen goods]
1905Crown Lands [land tenure, land-settlement, and other matters affecting the Crown Lands of the Colony]
1905 The Maori Land Claims Adjustment and Laws Amendment Act 1904
1904Te Akau Block
1904The Native Land Claims Adjustment and Laws Amendment Act 1901
1901Coal-mines of New Zealand
1901New Zealand Midland Railway
1901Staffs of schools and salaries of public school teachers
1901 Ships “G. M. Tucker” and “Monowai” [alleged delays in inspection]
1901 Federation [with Australia]
1900Stoke Industrial School, Nelson [orphanage for boys, treatment of inmates]
1898Police Force of New Zealand
1898Kauri-gum industry [conditions and status of employees]
1897Private benefit societies [employees coerced by employers to join]
1897Charges against Inspector John Emerson
1896Brunner coal-mine disaster [on 26 March 1896]
1894Fox correspondence [private letters to Premier published in the Evening Post]
1893Charges made by Mr. G. W. Ell against Mr. Bloxam, Registrar of the Supreme Court, Christchurch, and Mr. E. C. Latter, lately Official Assignee, Christchurch
1893Westport Colliery Reserve [railways]
1891Strikes [causes of conflict between capital and labour]
1890Sweating Commission: Certain relations between the employers of certain kinds of labour and the persons employed therein
1889Land taken for defence purposes at Point Resolution, Auckland
1889The Tauponuiatia Block
1888Middle Island [South Island] native land question
1883The immigrant ship “Oxford” [outbreak of typhoid fever]
1880The Confiscated Lands Inquiry and Maori Prisoners’ Trials Act 1879
1880University of New Zealand, and its relations to the secondary schools of the colony [continues report of 1879 by same title]
1880Civil service of New Zealand
1879Electoral roll of Mongonui [Mangōnui] and Bay of Islands District
1879University of New Zealand, and its relations to the secondary schools of the colony
1878Petition of James Mackintosh and Son [over land]
1878Employment of Females Acts [whether the Acts are effective]
1877 Charges made by Thomas Butler, late Keeper, Nelson Lunatic Asylum
1877Jackson’s Bay settlement [governance]
1877Philadelphia Centennial International Exhibition of 1876 [to secure the representation of New Zealand]
1876New General Assembly Library
1876Claims to compensation by owners of tramways
1874Boiler accident at the Kurunui Battery, Thames Gold Field [and the machinery and boilers on the field generally]
1874*Ship Scimitar [deaths of immigrants from scarlet fever and measles]