Debra Angus
Debra AngusBarrister
  • Public law

  • Parliamentary law and procedure

  • Constitutional and electoral law

  • Public finance management, governance and funding

  • Legislative drafting and design

  • Regulatory and compliance

  • Maritime law

  • Health and safety


Debra Angus has over 20 years’ experience working at the heart of parliamentary democracies, specialising in public law and democratic governance.

Debra is an expert adviser on public, constitutional, electoral and parliamentary law and procedure, public finance management and public sector oversight, governance and funding. She has a deep understanding of parliamentary and public sector processes and works as a trusted adviser to clients, officials and international organisations.

Debra has advised on the exercise of powers by public officials, the development of policy to legislation and the legislative process. She has conducted external reviews of agency process for developing legislation and the implementation of legislation under a statutory review requirement. She has drafted legislation, procedural rules and instruments, including Members’ bills, amendments to Government legislation and has prepared draft Bills for international projects.

A former Deputy Clerk of the House of Representatives, legal adviser to Parliament’s Privileges Committee, the Regulations Review Committee, Debra has also advised select committees on legislative scrutiny, inquiries and petitions.


Democratic Governance

Debra also works as an independent consultant with international organisations to build capability and strengthen developing democracies in effective governance, rule of law and public finance management projects:

  • working with developing democracies, post-conflict, and small-island developing states;
  • advice on international best practice in parliamentary procedure and law, oversight, legislative and financial scrutiny; autonomy, capacity-building for members of Parliament and secretariats.
  • expertise in drafting procedural rules and legislation.
  • advice on public finance management, audit and governance reform.

Recently, Debra has worked on projects in Fiji, the Cook Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Nauru, Vanuatu and the Republic of Georgia.

You can read more about Debra’s democratic governance work here

Debra’s Professional Committment

The underlying values of my practice are to provide solutions based on my areas of expertise. I work in a practical way focused on finding solutions, solving problems and promoting understanding. I am responsive to clients, personally looking after their needs and am attuned to working with different cultures. I believe in stepping up to make a difference by contributing to international efforts to build strong democracies in the world.

Debra is a regular presenter at seminars for lawyers and public officials on parliamentary, legislative and public law issues in New Zealand and internationally. She has also been a facilitator and presenter at induction programmes and professional development for members of Parliament and parliamentary staff, including recently:

  • Members’ Induction Program, Parliament of the Cook Islands, September 2018.
  • Advancing Better Government through Legislative Stewardship Conference, VUW-Centre for Public Law, October 2016.
  • Parliament Secretariat Workshop, Fiji, August 2015.
  • Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Staff Development Workshop, Cook Islands, March 2014.
  • Parliamentary Awareness and Engagement workshop for new members of Parliament, Tonga January 2011.
  • Lawyers in Parliament, for Women in Law Committee and Wellington Women Lawyers May 2011.

Debra has recently authored articles on public and parliamentary law issues:

  • Things fall apart: How legislative design becomes unravelled, NZ Journal of Public & International Law, Dec 2017
  • Reforming parliamentary privilege in New Zealand, (2016) 27 Public Law Review 87.
Debra Angus
Andrew Beck
Pam Davidson
Toby Gee
Felix Geiringer
John Goddard
Barbara Hunt
Tanya Kennedy
James Mahuta-Coyle
Paul Michalik
David Milliken
John Morrison
Kim Murray
Ben Nettleton
Gaeline Phipps
Terry Sissons
All Members