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Minister appoints Southern Response interim Board Chair

Hon Megan Woods

Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration


20 December 2018

Minister Megan Woods has appointed former CDHB Chair and City Councillor Alister James as Interim Chair of Southern Response Earthquake Services Ltd. The appointment applies from now until 30 June 2019.

“Alister is a widely respected lawyer and director and a proud Cantabrian who brings a wealth of experience to the role. I know he will provide stable and effective leadership following a disruptive period for the company and its customers.

“My expectations for Southern Response remain the same: the organisation has the important job to do of resolving outstanding claims so people can get on with their lives. I know Alister will help Southern Response deliver on that task.

“Alister’s own home was destroyed by the earthquakes. He understands from personal experience the harm suffered by Cantabrians during that time. As someone who has been through that insurance experience himself, I know Alister will bring empathy to the role and a focus on seeing claims settled.

“Having Alister James taking up the position of Interim Chair should provide confidence to the customers of Southern Response that the company is working hard to settle claims fairly. His extensive legal knowledge and close connections with Christchurch bring further strength to the Southern Response Board,” says Megan Woods.

Alister James is a Christchurch-based lawyer and director. He has practised as a barrister since 2001, often advocating for vulnerable persons rather than commercial entities. He has previously been Chair of the Canterbury District Health Board, and was a Christchurch City Councillor, with 20 years’ experience, including as Chair of the Strategy and Finance Committee. Mr James was also Chair of Christchurch City Holdings Limited (parent company for Lyttelton Port, Christchurch Airport, Orion Electricity and other trading activities). Previous roles include trustee and Chair of Nga Hau e Wha Christchurch National Marae.

Since 2016, Mr James has been the Independent Chair of the Greater Christchurch Public Transport Joint Committee, appointed by agreement of Environment Canterbury, Christchurch City Council, Selwyn and Waimakariri District Councils.


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