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Resolution Of NZ Post Board Issue

The board of New Zealand Post has addressed its internal differences and has provided assurance that it is focused on its job of running a successful government-owned business, the Minister for State Owned Enterprises Mark Burton announced today.

"The board has acknowledged that the Chair acted with integrity and on the basis of advice received. However, the Deputy Chair has been exonerated by evidence received subsequent to the initial concerns being raised.

"Accordingly, the board membership remains unchanged. The Chair and Deputy Chair retain the confidence of the board, and will remain in their positions.

"The easy political solution to recent events, to shut down the baying opposition, would have been to offer up sacrificial lambs.

"However, my role as Minister is not to take the easy political route, but rather to act in the best interests of the shareholders of New Zealand Post – the people of New Zealand.

"Sacking directors is an extreme action - but New Zealand Post board members were left in no doubt that I was prepared to use my full powers to dismiss them, if necessary. This no doubt succeeded in focusing the minds of board members.

"There has been a great deal of energy devoted to this issue over the last few days, and I have now been presented with a unanimous board resolution.

"Shareholding ministers have accepted the board's clear indication of commitment and unity, subject to a number of assurances being given.

"Next week I will meet with all board members. As I have indicated in my letter to the board today, I will expect each director's personal affirmation of the board's position, and their commitment to the following:

Working together
For the good of the company and to address major governance and strategic issues facing the business.

Managing core board processes
This includes director commitment to appropriate implementation of the properly agreed SCI and other business plans; board collegiality in terms of decisions made and ensuring that processes are in place to manage conflict, conflict of interest or differences of opinion.

Board confidentiality
It is important that board matters stay within the board and that processes are in place to protect the confidentiality of papers, deliberations and decisions and to manage any breach of confidentiality. The position of the board should be communicated by a board-agreed spokesperson (usually the chairperson).

Maintaining a working relationship with Shareholding Ministers
The board must have in place processes that ensure Shareholding Ministers are informed in a timely matter of issues of political or major commercial interest.

"With this issue having been played out in the public arena, this has been a testing time for the board of New Zealand Post and the whole organisation.

"However, I am satisfied there is genuine commitment from every member of the board to act in the best interests of the company.

"I am therefore prepared to give them the opportunity to get on with the job," Mark Burton said.

Ends

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