The New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union is questioning why, for the second time, Jacinda Ardern has appointed a Crown-owned company Chief Executive to Chair her “Business Advisory Council”, following her announcement that Mercury CEO Fraser Whineray is set to replace Air New Zealand CEO Christopher Luxton.
Air New Zealand is 52% Government-owned. Mercury is 51.15% Government-owned.
“No wonder business confidence is through the floor. The PM won't even pick a private business-head to chair her Business Advisory Council.”
“The role of a business council is to hold the Government’s feet to the fire. These are professional and experienced individuals, but how can someone who runs an organisation ultimately owned by the Crown effectively politically advocate without fear or favour? It is a ridiculous fiction.”
“The aim of the Council is to ‘provide high-level free and frank advice on policies that directly affect businesses', but this appointment suggests the whole exercise is spin over substance.”