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Contact Chief Executive Tenders Resignation


MEDIA RELEASE

20 February 2006

Chief Executive Tenders Resignation

Contact today announced that the company’s Chief Executive, Mr David Hunt, had tendered his resignation.

“Although the timing of my decision coincides with the announcement of the proposed merger between Contact and Origin, my choice is entirely motivated by personal reasons,” said Mr Hunt.

“When I raised this intention with the Board, it was made clear that I would be offered an opportunity to manage the New Zealand business, assuming the proposed merger proceeds.

“However, I concluded that I want to take my career in a new direction, and have tendered my resignation,” said Mr Hunt.

“I want to emphasise that this decision should in no way be construed as an indicator of my views on the merits of the proposal,” said Mr Hunt.

“Compared with the status quo, the proposed merger has the potential to yield worthwhile benefits to the group over time, especially by aligning the companies’ activities and interests in the NZ upstream sector.”

“Ultimately, it will be a decision for shareholders, and they will need to assess the relative merits of the proposal versus the alternative.”

Contact’s Chairman, Mr Grant King, said “David has made an outstanding contribution to the development and growth of the company over the last ten years, reflected most recently in his appointment as Chief Executive.”

“The Board had hoped David would continue in this role but respects his decision, and has initiated a process for appointing a successor.”

He also noted that Mr Hunt will continue in his current role for a period to assist with the transition to a new Chief Executive.

Ends

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