New RBNZ board takes up role from 1 July

  • Hon Grant Robertson

Members with a range of governance, financial and technical skills have been appointed to the Reserve Bank Board as part of the shift to strengthen the Bank’s decision-making and accountability arrangements.

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act 2021 comes into force on 1 July 2022, with the establishment of a new statutory governance board, which includes members appointed by Governor General on the recommendation of the government, and also includes the Governor of the Reserve Bank, Adrian Orr.

“This is a significant change that will strengthen the institutional arrangements of the Reserve Bank,” Grant Robertson said.

“The shift to a more conventional board model brings the Reserve Bank in line with other central banks, Crown Entities and public companies in New Zealand.

The structure protects the Bank’s independence while ensuring it operates in an accountable and transparent manner. The Board’s remit does not cover monetary policy, which remains solely the role of the Monetary Policy Committee.

“I have worked through with the transitional Board to understand the range of skills needed to fulfil the mandate of the new Board. People with both the intellectual capacity to engage with the very challenging issues, and the background of experience and perspective to be able to bring common sense, political awareness and a strong understanding of New Zealand’s economy and society to the table.

“We have also sought to get a mix of backgrounds and experience to give a wide range of perspectives. Members not only have knowledge of the New Zealand and global economy, but also experience of managing people and culture, and digital change.

“Two highly-experienced members of the previous Board have been retained, current Chair, Professor Neil Quigley and Susan Paterson. Rodger Finlay who has been providing assistance with the transition to the new structure over recent months has also been appointed to the new Board.

“Other appointees are Byron Pepper, Professor Rawinia Higgins, Jeremy Banks and Hinerangi Raumati-Tu’ua. (Brief biographies of all members are below).

“I am delighted with the mix of people who we have been able to appoint. I am confident that they will support the Reserve Bank exceptionally well to achieve the goals set for it in the new legislation that comes into force tomorrow,” Grant Robertson said.

Board member bios:

Professor Neil Quigley is the Vice Chancellor at the University of Waikato and has been chair of the current Reserve Bank Board since 2016.

Susan Paterson has been on the current Reserve Bank Board since 2019. She has been an external advisor to the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee and brings significant senior experience and good knowledge of governance oversight of a regulatory body.

Rodger Finlay previously chaired NZ Post Ltd and PGG Wrightson, and is a director of Ngāi Tahu Holdings Ltd. He brings a strong understanding of business, finance, and strategy, after working in investment banking in Australasia, South-East Asia, Africa, the UK, Europe, and the USA.

Jeremy Banks (Rangitāne, Ngāti Kuia) has built his executive career in the software sector, founding Plink Software in 2015. He is a director of Wakatū Incorporation, where he chairs the Technology Steering committee. He is also a director of Crown company Network for Learning, vice chair of Ngāti Rārua Ātiawa Iwi Trust, and is on the Nelson Regional Development Agency.

Professor Rawinia Higgins (Ngāi Tūhoe, Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Ruapani ki Waikaremoana, Ngāti Kahungunu) is the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Māori) at Victoria University of Wellington, where she is focused on helping to frame Māori strategy, policy, and outcomes. In 2018 Professor Higgins was appointed as the Commissioner for Te Taura Whiri i Te Reo Māori, after leading a review to change our Māori language legislation to give effect to Treaty partnership within the Crown agency system. She is a member of the Waitangi Tribunal and is chair of the Māori Advisory Group to the Public Service Commissioner.

Byron Pepper is an experienced advisor to boards, management teams and investors across business and insurance sectors. He is a former Executive Director and Partner at Goldman Sachs, and will bring strengths in understanding of financial and capital markets, the aims and impacts of regulation, and a focus on fostering financial stability for all New Zealanders. Mr Pepper is a director at Ando Insurance Group Ltd, but that role is not expected to create a conflict of interest as Ando is a non-regulated company.

Hinerangi Raumati-Tu’ua (Ngāti Mutunga, Tainui) is the chair of Tainui Group Holdings and a director at Genesis Energy and Watercare Services. She is involved in several Iwi investment entities and was the chair of Parininihi Ki Waitotara Incorporation for ten years. Ms Raumati-Tu’ua has developed a governance portfolio which includes both Māori owned / Māori centric entities, and more mainstream organisations such as Public Trust and Auckland Council Investments Ltd.

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