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Outstanding Board appointed for new ARC subsidiary

Outstanding Board appointed for new ARC subsidiary

An outstanding line-up of directors has been chosen for the new Auckland Regional Transport Authority.

Announcing the new Board today, Auckland Regional Council Chair Gwen Bull said the eight new directors had an exceptional range of skills and experience that would enable ARTA to make the decisions needed to get Auckland moving.

“These highly experienced directors include representatives from both the public and private sector and from professions as wide-ranging as engineering, law, finance, retail, resource management and politics.”

Cr Bull said the ARTA Board would be responsible for the integrated planning, funding and implementation of all modes of transport throughout the Auckland region.

“Buses, trains, ferries and local roads will all be part of ARTA’s role and the people we have on board have the knowledge and background to be able to make a real difference to the region’s transport network.”

Under the Local Government (Auckland) Amendment Act, passed last week, ARTA must be operational by 1 January 2005.

The eight directors, selected by a specialist appointments panel, are:

• Ted van Arkel – managing director of Progressive Enterprises and a director of both the Auckland Chamber of Commerce and Auckland Retailers Association.

• Peter Brothers – Dean of the School of Engineering at Auckland University and a director of Auckland Regional Transport Network Ltd (ARTNL).

• Tony Parsons – a civil engineer who is a director of ARTNL and was project manager for Watercare’s $450 million Mangere treatment plant upgrade.

• Rabin Rabindran – a barrister specialising in public sector and large infrastructure projects who has worked on major schemes in more than 25 countries.

• Gary Taylor – a resource management and government relations consultant and member of the Infrastructure Auckland board for the past four years.

• Richard Waddel – a director of Infrastructure Auckland, chairman of Pharmac and former CEO and chairman of Ernst & Young.

• Mike Williams – Labour Party president and Transit New Zealand board member for the past four years. Also a director of Genesis Energy and the Institute for Geological and Nuclear Science.

• Adrienne Young Cooper – Director and principal of Hill Young Cooper Ltd, one of the leading planning and public policy consultancies in the country, and a director of ARTNL.

The panel responsible for selecting the board was made up of one representative from each of the seven local councils, five ARC councillors, including Cr Bull who chaired the panel, and three external appointees.

More than 100 applications were received for the directorships – one of the highest number of applicants for any comparable board in either the public or the private sector.

Cr Bull said the calibre of applicants was outstanding.

“It was a difficult job but, by using pre-agreed competencies, the panel was able to carefully evaluate all the candidates and select the best people for the job.”

Assessment criteria included strategic thinking, transport technical expertise, delivery of community outcomes, understanding of transport issues and corporate and business acumen.

“As well as experts in engineering, law, finance and governance, we have a number of ARTNL and IA directors who will help provide continuity and ensure that ARTA gets off to a quick and smooth start,” said Cr Bull.

ARTA is one of two Auckland Regional Council subsidiaries established under the Local Government (Auckland) Amendment Act, which became law on 1 July 2004. The other organisation– Auckland Regional Holdings (ARH) – has replaced Infrastructure Auckland and now owns and manages $1.3 billion worth of assets.

The Government appointed establishment chair, Brian Roche, who has been working with the ARC, local councils and other key parties since mid-May undertaking preparatory work needed to establish ARTA, will remain in his position until a chair for ARTA is formally appointed.

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