Business has positive role to play - honoree

By Patrick O'Sullivan

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Peter Wilson has become a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit.
Peter Wilson has become a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

Napier-born Peter Wilson says he has had "a few jobs" in Hawke's Bay, including an accountancy practice, chairmanships of Hawke's Bay District Health Board and Napier Port, as well as directorships of Hawke's Bay Farmers Meat Company and Hawke's Bay News, when the region was home to two daily newspapers.

He is no stranger to change, being "in the thick of it" when Napier Hospital closed and chairing the former Hawke's Bay Farmers Meat Company during industry restructuring in the 1980s that led to thousands of job losses.

He became a director of Eastern and Central Savings Bank and its successors, which led to a long association with banking and his departure from Hawke's Bay to Wellington in 2000.

He was director and chairman of Trust Bank New Zealand when it was acquired by Westpac.

He was Westpac New Zealand's chairman from 2006 until 2015, guiding Westpac through the global financial crisis.

After the 2010 and 2011 Canterbury earthquakes, he oversaw the establishment of the Westpac Business and Community Hub and the Canterbury Care Fund, as well as several other local and national fundraising initiatives.

He sat on the Westpac Banking Corporation's board of directors in Australia from 2003 to 2012, and was a member of the New Zealand Markets Disciplinary Tribunal until 2013.

He is an independent director of Farmlands, chairman of Arvida Group, PF Olsen Group and deputy chairman of Meridian Energy.

The now Otaki based man has become a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to business.

He said he never imagined himself a likely contender for honours and was "pleasantly surprised that others have judged that I am".

He said business had a positive role to play in society and a strong banking sector was vital to New Zealand's economy.

"It has certainly been my experience there is a very strong social and environmental interest for organisations," he said.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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