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IA Chief Executive To Be Made Redundant

May 6, 2004
Media Statement

IA Chief Executive To Be Made Redundant

Statement made by John Robertson, Chairman,
Infrastructure Auckland


The Government’s decision to legislate to disestablish Infrastructure Auckland (IA) on
30 June this year has meant that Richard Maher, Infrastructure Auckland’s Chief
Executive Officer, will become redundant.

The legislation, currently before a Select Committee, will see the assets of IA taken over by an expanded Auckland Regional Council (ARC). The legislation provides for IA staff to take up similar positions within the ARC or its future transport or investment entities. This provision will ensure that much of the project evaluation, funding and investment expertise and experience residing in IA is not lost to the region.

However, the ARC has advised the IA Board that it will be advertising the roles of chief executive for the two new bodies being formed. The Board’s legal advice is that as Mr Maher will not be appointed to one of the chief executive roles from the date of the change over, the IA board is required to meet its obligations under his employment contract and offer him redundancy.

The board of IA places on record the outstanding contribution Mr Maher has made to
IA and the region, since he was appointed Chief Executive of IA upon its inception in
1998.

During his tenure as Chief Executive, Mr Maher has built and led an executive team that has generated an additional $592 million of wealth for the region, representing a compound annual average return on investments of nine percent.

IA has made grants of $221 million to regional transport and stormwater projects, including Britomart, the North Shore Busway, upgraded ferry terminals, improvements to the rail network, improvements to the water quality of our streams and estuaries, walkways and cycle ways, bus priority measures, and innovative and effective transport solutions like School Travel Plans and Walking School buses.

Mr Maher is known in the region for his commitment to projects that deliver public good in a sustainable way. The rigour that he demanded from those seeking funds has ensured that Auckland’s public funds granted out from IA have been applied to robust projects.

Mr Maher has been a key player in promoting an integrated approach to regional infrastructure challenges. Under his leadership and with IA as the principal funder, business plans have been developed for a comprehensive upgrade of the passenger rail network, addressing the funding gap in the Regional Land Transport Strategy (which resulted in an additional $1.6 billion of Government funding for Auckland transport), and a fresh approach to dealing with the region’s mounting stormwater problems.

Mr Maher’s quiet and considered leadership style, coupled with his ability to tackle strategic regional issues in both a disciplined and innovative way has shown the region a way forward through transport and stormwater quality issues that for too many years have seemed too hard.

The Board of IA notes Mr Maher’s respect for good governance, his adherence to sound process and his commitment to transparency and accountability. He will remain with IA until the date of its disestablishment which is expected to be 30 June 2004.

His contribution will be missed.

ENDS

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