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Simon Power going to Westpac Bank

Outgoing Commerce Minister and new head of Westpac Private Bank, Simon Power. Photo / Michael Craig
Outgoing Commerce Minister and new head of Westpac Private Bank, Simon Power. Photo / Michael Craig

Outgoing Commerce Minister Simon Power has been named as the new head of Westpac Private Bank.

Power, 41, is joining the bank in January next year after being an MP for the past 12 years and a Cabinet minister for the last three.

Westpac chief executive George Frazis said Power brought "a range of skills and experience to the position that fitted well with the purpose and focus of Private Bank."

Westpac Private Bank is described as the part of the company that "delivers a relationship banking service to our premium personal customers."

"We are enormously excited to be joined by someone with such an outstanding record of leadership and achievement at the highest level" said Frazis .

Power said in the news release that he was "looking forward to a new challenge and a new environment."

"This is the beginning of a new and exciting chapter in my career. One of my objectives after leaving Parliament is to contribute to the growth of New Zealand in the private sector and I feel that with my experience in working with and implementing change I can do that," he said.

Power's retirement was seen as a loss to the National caucus' liberal circle, but also as a key figure in the party to reach across the political divide.

His cross-party approach was been evident in a number of the 36 bills he got passed into law this term, many likely to have significant social impact.

Among those he was most proud of were on-the-spot police protection orders, and making illegal the code of silence that stonewalled police during the Kahui child killing case.

Asked he would have done differently in the past 12 years, Power said he would have voted for the civil unions bill and the 'anti smacking' legislation.

The pedantic management of time was something he learned in the lead-up to this term, when he had a month-by-month plan to drive his reforms.

"Some people go after the media, want to be in it all the time. That hasn't been my approach. Legislation is the tool I chose to deliver what I wanted to change."


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