Former deputy Reserve Bank governor and University of Canterbury vice-chancellor Rod Carr has been appointed as the chair of the new Climate Change Commission.
Climate Change Minister James Shaw announced Dr Carr's appointment in Auckland this morning, saying his leadership skills, strategic vision and professional experience will be a huge asset as the commission is established.
Mr Shaw said the chairperson needs to be someone independent, analytical and credible.
"As the Chairperson role will have a big impact on the success of the Commission, I have sought to appoint someone who will ensure that the Commission will be independent, analytical and credible," Mr Shaw said in a statement.
"Dr Carr's strong leadership skills, strategic vision and professional experience will be a huge asset in the Commission's establishment years," he said.
He said the government will be required to take the commission's advice very seriously.
"The whole point of the Climate Change Commission is to provide us with independent, scientifically and economically grounded advise and to de-politicise the process in Parliament and so obviously anything that the commission says we would have to take very seriously."
Mr Shaw said he was still considering his preferred candidates for the remaining six commissioners.
Dr Carr will come out of retirement to fill the role - a decision he said was influenced by his children.
"It certainly is the case that all of us are going to have to play a part using our own skills, and own experiences and own spheres of influences. This is not a trivial change to transform an economy from a fossil fuels based economy into a net zero emissions economy."
The independent Climate Change Commission is a result of the Zero Carbon Bill, which is expected to be enacted by the end of the year.