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Trans Tasman: Brian Roche Takes Top Job at NZ Post

Trans Tasman Political Letter
For Immediate Release

21 October 2009

Brian Roche Takes Top Job at NZ Post

The Trans Tasman Political Newsletter reports Brian Roche, a senior partner in accountancy firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers, will be named this week as group CEO of state-owned NZ Post. He will fill the vacancy left by John Allen who left in June to become chief executive of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Roche has been a top adviser to successive Govts, serving first in PM’s advisory group under David Lange, and then during Jim Bolger’s first term as Prime Minister. He was engaged in troubleshooting for the Clark Govt, particularly with Te Wananga Aotearoa, and in the negotiations with Toll Holdings over the purchase of KiwiRail.

Trans Tasman says within the Wellington Beltway he is renowned for speaking his mind without fear or favour.

He was heavily involved in advising the Govt and the NZ Rugby Union in the bid to secure the Rugby World Cup Tournament in 2011. He worked with Sir John Anderson as Commissioner after the previous Govt dismissed the Hawke’s Bay District Health Board. He also served on many panels advising the State Services Commission on top executive appointments in the public sector.

More recently he has been advising the Govt on transport issues, as chairman of the Auckland Regional Transport Authority, and as chairman of the NZ Transport Agency.

Trans Tasman notes NZ Post is one of the state’s biggest businesses with assets over $11bn, and operating revenue of $1.2bn a year. Net surplus last year fell to $71m from $110m. The group has 12,000 employees.

Roche takes over as group CEO of NZ Post at a time when the SOE faces declining revenues especially in the postal business.

In NZ Post’s annual report Chairman Jim Bolger (whose term has been extended by the Govt) said the year ahead would be marked by more economic uncertainty and this would continue to have an impact on group performance.

Bolger said: “Notwithstanding the challenges faced in our postal services, Datamail and Express Couriers businesses, we are confident these parts of the group will continue to develop new services and innovate."

He added John Allen had made an “enormous contribution” to the group over almost 20 years in the group, including 6 as CEO. The annual report listed Allen’s remuneration as $1.18m.

Max Bowden
Publisher In Chief
The Main Report Group

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