Nicholas Jones is a New Zealand Herald political reporter.

Former National MP Tony Ryall appointed Transpower chair

Former Health Minister Tony Ryall is the new chair of Transpower. NZ Herald photo by Mark Mitchell.
Former Health Minister Tony Ryall is the new chair of Transpower. NZ Herald photo by Mark Mitchell.

Former Health Minister Tony Ryall has been appointed as the next chair of grid operator Transpower.

The appointment was announced by Finance Minister Bill English and State Owned Enterprises Minister Todd McClay.

Ryall is currently a director of Transpower and will take over as chair on November 1.

"Mr Ryall is a proven leader and has knowledge of the regulatory, economic and political environment in which Transpower operates," McClay said.

Ryall spent 24 years as a National Party MP before retiring in September 2014.

Later that same year he was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services as a Member of Parliament.

He had two stints as Minister of State Owned Enterprises and was also Minister of Health for six years.

After retiring from Parliament the former Bay of Plenty MP joined law firm Simpson Grierson as its head of the public policy practice. He is also chair of NIB NZ Ltd and a trustee of the Massey University Foundation.

National criticised the Labour Party for "cronyism" when it was in Opposition, but it has appointed a number of former MPs and party office holders to boards and other positions.

Last month National MP Maurice Williamson was given a diplomatic posting in Los Angeles Consul General after he announced he was not standing again in 2017.

Former Trade Minister Tim Groser was appointed Ambassador in Washington, and former Speaker Sir Lockwood Smith as High Commissioner to Britain.

Ryall will take over Transpower during a time of change in the industry. The Electricity Authority has sought public feedback to the way transmission costs are charged by Transpower, which wants to recover the full cost of its services.

The Government also announced today that Trevor Janes will be the next chair of KiwiRail from November 1, succeeding John Spencer.

Janes is a professional director who has chaired Abano Healthcare, which operates the Lumino the Dentists chain and other health-related businesses.

In 2014 Abano fended off an attempt by dissident investors to remove Janes as chairman.

- NZ Herald

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