Role and Responsibilities

The New Zealand Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (NZAuASB) has delegated authority from the XRB Board to develop or adopt, and issue auditing and assurance standards, including professional and ethical standards for assurance practitioners.

High quality assurance that gives users confidence about the fair presentation of the information presented in financial reports is vital to the achievement of the XRB’s outcome goal.

The NZAuASB considers the suite of auditing and assurance standards and how they are being applied. It issues standards or guidance if necessary to achieve its strategic objective.

The Board aims to:

  • establish auditing and assurance standards that build confidence in New Zealand financial reporting;
  • assist entities to compete internationally; and
  • enhance entities’ accountability to stakeholders.

The NZAuASB is a committee of the XRB Board established under schedule 5 of the Crown Entities Act.

It also issues other assurance standards in accordance with an authority provided by the Minister of Commerce issued under section 24 (1) (b) (v) of the Financial Reporting Act 1993. 

NZAuASB Outcome Goal

The NZAuASB’s strategic objective is:

To establish auditing and assurance standards which will encourage assurance providers to behave and provide assurance in a manner that engenders confidence in New Zealand financial reporting, assists entities to compete internationally, and enhances entities’ accountability to stakeholders.

Meet our NZAuASB Board Members

The NZAuASB has up to 10 members, with a focus on diversity of experience and perspective. The members of the NZAuASB are appointed by the XRB and are all part time. They are remunerated in accordance with rates determined by the Remuneration Authority. 

Robert Buchanan

Robert Buchanan


Robert is a Wellington lawyer and governance specialist. He has worked on a wide range of public law and governance issues for many years, both in New Zealand and internationally. This includes extensive work in the area of audit and assurance, and a number of governance appointments in the public and not-for-profit sectors.

Robert first became involved in reporting and assurance matters during his time as Assistant Auditor-General, Legal at the Office of the Auditor-General between 1998 and 2006. Before that, he was the Director of the Law Commission, New Zealand’s independent law reform agency. He was an inaugural non-practitioner member of the NZAuASB when it was formed in 2011, and was appointed the Chairperson in 2016. He functions as an independent chair, with a profile both in New Zealand and in international forums of national standard setters. Robert also serves as a member of the Auditing and Assurance Standards Board in Australia, under the Trans-Tasman reciprocal membership arrangement.

In 2020 Robert was appointed a member of the Public Interest Oversight Board, a global body which oversees the international standard setting process. The PIOB’s role and objective is to ensure that the international auditing and assurance standards and the international code of ethics for accountants take account of and are responsive to the public interest, and follow due process.

Robert practises as a barrister in New Zealand and is a member of the New Zealand Law Society. He is also a member of the Institute of Directors in New Zealand and a member of Local Government New Zealand’s panel of assessors under the CouncilMARK performance assessment programme for local authorities.

John Kensington

John Kensington


Deputy Chair

John is Financial Services Audit Partner at KPMG. He is head of KPMG’s Banking & Finance in New Zealand. He is also the editor of the Financial Institutions Performance Survey. 

John is a licensed auditor and his audit experience covers a wide range of commercial sector clients including banking, insurance, funds management, and the automotive industry.  He has particular expertise in financial services auditing and related Reserve Bank and Trustee reporting requirements. 

John is also a trustee of Breast Cancer Cure. 

Robert Cox

Robert Cox

Robert has more than 30 years’ experience as an auditor and has been an Audit Director since 2004.

Robert leads Audit New Zealand’s technical accounting team, providing support to audit teams in applying both IPSAS and IFRS-based standards to complex public sector transactions. He plays a key role in helping public sector clients find solutions to complicated accounting issues. He has led audits of government departments, Crown entities, and local authorities, including the consolidated Financial Statements of the Government.

Robert is Chair of Audit New Zealand’s Opinion Review Committee and is also a member of the Technical Reference Group for the New Zealand Accounting Standards Board (NZASB). 

Clyde D’Souza

Clyde D’Souza

Clyde is Principal of D’Souza Associates, a boutique merchant banking practice specialising in mergers and acquisitions, due diligence services and valuation advice.

Clyde has extensive experience in the financial services sector including research and analysis roles at AMP Investments and Citigroup. Clients of his advisory practice cover a variety of industries and different sized entities.

Clyde is on the governing board of the Institute of Financial Professionals and a member of the Institute of Directors.

David Hay

David Hay


David Hay is the Professor of Auditing at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. David is actively involved in auditing research, teaching and professional activities.

David is co-author of a recent reference book on auditing and auditing research, The Routledge Companion to Auditing, and an author of numerous articles in research journals. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Auditing.

Before his academic career, David had extensive professional auditing experience in New Zealand and in the City of London.

Marje Russ

Marje Russ

Marje is an Executive Director of Tonkin & Taylor Group and member of the Risk and Assurance Committee. Tonkin & Taylor Group is a New Zealand-based environmental and engineering consulting company operating throughout Asia-Pacific.

She has an extensive background in non-financial assurance and environmental management, including as General Manager, Environmental Certification Services at Telarc New Zealand & International Accreditation New Zealand in the 1990s and various other environmental and sustainable business assurance.

Marje is a member of the New Zealand Planning Institute, a Chartered member of the Institute of Directors and member of the Resource Management Law Association.