John Edwards was first appointed to the position of Privacy Commissioner of New Zealand in February 2014 and was re-appointed for a further five-year term in February 2019. Prior to this, he practiced law for over 20 years. John has degrees in law (LLB) and public policy (MPP) from Victoria University of Wellington, NZ, and has advised and represented a wide range of clients from the public and private sector. He provides independent comment on significant personal information policies and issues. John chaired the New Zealand Law Society Privacy and Human Rights Committee and was Contributing Editor of Brookers Human Rights Law and Practice and has published widely on human rights and privacy matters.
In addition to a practice specialty in the field of information and privacy law, he held warrants as a district inspector for mental health and as a district inspector for intellectual disability services and has provided legal services to the Kingdom of Tonga. In October 2014, John was elected Chair of the Executive Committee of the International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners and completed his 3-year term in October 2017.