Social Development Minister Paula Bennett has appointed a former official from her own office to the board of the Families Commission.
Belinda Milnes, a former senior policy adviser for Mrs Bennett, has been appointed to the commission for three years.
The minister has been unavailable to discuss the appointment, but in a statement says Ms Milnes understands social policy and is the best person for the job.
The Prime Minister's chief science adviser, Sir Peter Gluckman, is also joining the board.
Parliament is considering legislation to cut the number of Families Commissioners from seven to one and redirect half its funding to a new research unit.