Our Story

Establishing an independent Climate Change Commission is a commitment by Aotearoa to take strong and decisive action to address climate change.

Our origins

The Commission was formed alongside work to set the country’s climate targets in November 2019. The targets were legislated under the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Act. The Act passed with multi-party support.

Before the Zero Carbon Act was passed, our predecessor was the Interim Climate Change Committee. Formed on 1 May 2018, the Committee’s work was our foundation. You can find out more about the Interim Climate Change Committee on its website, now held in the National Library's web archive.

We were created following persistent calls from government (local and central), NGOsbusiness and other advocates for an independent government organisation focused on climate action. Those parties also called for a comprehensive, evidence-based plan for Aotearoa to follow towards our climate goals.  

We take our whakapapa seriously and will understand and respect our origins in the coming years.  

This is just the beginning for the Commission and an important step on the long and urgent journey to secure a sustainable future for generations to come.

He Pou a Rangi: Ingoa Māori | Our Te Reo Māori name 

The simplest translation of He Pou a Rangi is 'a pillar of the sky' 

The concept considers our role as upholders of the sky. We are honouring the sky and in turn, have a duty to care for it.  

Using 'He' Pou ('a' pillar) rather than 'Te' Pou ('the' pillar) recognises that we are one of many pou or organisations working together to address climate change.

Pou can uphold, provide a point of connection, protect, and provide stability. In a te ao Māori view, pou provide a two-way connection, both upholding and uplifting what is above, but also connecting and grounding with what is below. Pou connect Ranginui, the sky father, to Papatūānuku, the earth mother.