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Gas Industry Company appoints Chief Executive

Gas Industry Company Limited Press Release
4 May 2005


Gas Industry Company appoints Chief Executive

The Gas Industry Company Limited (GIC) announced today the appointment of Christine Southey as its inaugural Chief Executive. The GIC is a newly established entity, owned by New Zealand gas industry participants. It has been established to make recommendations to the Minister of Energy on a range of matters affecting the governance of the gas sector including rules and regulations on the wholesaling, retailing, processing, transmission and distribution of gas.

Ms. Southey’s initial focus will be to complete the establishment of the GIC as a stand-alone entity and to develop its work programme to address the requirements of the Government’s Policy Statement on Gas Governance. The emphasis in the work programme will be on industry-led solutions to the Government’s required outcomes.

Ms. Southey will be resigning from her role as an Electricity Commissioner to take up this position later this month. Prior to her role with the Electricity Commission, Ms. Southey has been a partner in a national law firm and had a variety of senior roles in the energy sector. This has included work at a strategic level on a number of significant industry reform initiatives.

The Chair of the GIC, the Right Honourable Jim Bolger, said “The GIC is delighted to announce the appointment of Christine Southey as the GIC’s Chief Executive. Christine brings to the GIC significant hands-on experience of both self-regulatory and regulatory models. She has a strong understanding of the regulatory and commercial issues in the energy sector and a proven ability to contribute to the development and implementation of corporate strategies, industry agreements and regulatory policy”.

The Chief Executive’s appointment resulted from a public process seeking applications for the role and an extensive and rigorous search for potential candidates.

BACKGROUND

Recent amendments to the Gas Act provide for the co-regulation of the gas industry by the Government and an industry body. The GIC has been established by the gas industry to fulfill the role of the industry body as set out in the Gas Act. The GIC was approved as the industry body by order in council on 22 December 2004.


The board of the GIC comprises:

Rt Hon Jim Bolger Independent Chair Mark Franklin, CEO Vector Robin Hill Independent Deputy Chair Denis Clifford, Independent Steve Barrett, CEO Contact Energy Mark Verbiest, Independent Donald Morgan, CEO and Chairman, Swift Energy New Zealand
The GIC has a challenging task of meeting the dual expectations of the gas industry and Government in developing a new set of arrangements and structures to support the development of the wholesale and retail markets.

New arrangements are required to support the transition from a single dominant source of supply, the Maui gas field, to supply from a number of smaller dispersed gas fields. The gas sector has been given a unique opportunity to make an active contribution to the regulatory environment established for this transition.

The appointment of Christine Southey as Chief Executive is an important step for the company as it prepares to take up its new responsibilities under the Gas Act.


ENDS

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