Former Treasury secretary will helm inaugural commission.
One of New Zealand's foremost public servants — Alan Bollard — has been appointed the inaugural chairman of the New Zealand Infrastructure Commission, Te Waihanga.
Bollard's appointment will be formally announced by the Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Shane Jones at the Building Nations Symposium in Rotorua this morning.
"I'm very proud that Alan Bollard has agreed to be the originating chair of the commission." Jones told the Herald.
"While he's not a bog-standard engineer type, let's face it, he has huge experience internationally, he thoroughly understands how the State works and has occupied the top perch."
Jones is referring to Bollard's stints as Governor of the Reserve Bank and Secretary of Treasury.
Bollard recently returned to New Zealand after a lengthy sojourn in Singapore as executive director of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) secretariat and is now professor of practice at the School of Government, Victoria University of Wellington.
Bollard's appointment is a coup for the Coalition Government.
Jones maintains a lot of New Zealand's infrastructure challenges are systemic.
"So a good systems thinker is really important and I know that the entirety of Parliament regard him as a top guy."
The five other members of the commission board are: Infrastructure New Zealand's outgoing chief executive Stephen Selwood, MinterEllisonRuddWatts chairwoman Sarah Sinclair, Watercare Services chief executive; Raveen Jaduram, former banker and independent director Sue Tindal and Simpson Grierson special counsel David Cochrane.
Jones says he does not want Bollard's name to eclipse the other board members.
"Stephen Selwood was someone I personally pushed very hard to come on to the board. I met Stephen just after Helen Clark left town and I feel very, very satisfied that my colleagues backed Stephen Selwood being on this board.
"It's good to acknowledge his long role of advocacy and he perhaps exemplifies better in the tent than out'."
Selwood — known as "Mr Infrastructure" by colleagues — has headed the key infrastructure lobby in New Zealand since 2005. He steps down at this week's Infrastructure New Zealand symposium to pursue a governance career.
He will be succeeded by experienced banker Paul Blair.
Jones says other board members bring crucial insights. He points out Jaduram as CEO of Watercare is overseeing "one of the most stupendous projects", the Central Interceptor; a super-sized wastewater tunnel reducing overflows to help make waterways in central Auckland cleaner. "That brings further practical experience onto the board," adds Jones.
He says Sinclair — the only member of an expert panel advising Treasury to be appointed to the commission board — has a "lot of experience".
"She currently has a role in moving the different options forward in respect of light rail," says Jones.
"So she is donkey-deep in one of the more complex projects that's likely to come before the government."
Jones says it was also important to have someone on board with chief financial officer experience and Tindal was someone who personalities across the House knew and were prepared to back.
"The final person is David Cochrane.
"David is a senior lawyer, semi-retired, but there isn't an area of infrastructure legislation that he has not advised on or helped actually write over his career.
"Transport, ports, corporatisation, rail and we were keen to get someone on the organisation who has a long-term institutional knowledge.
Less of the transactions, more of the frameworks, the regulatory framework that he has either facilitated or inhibited.
"So those are the personalities."
• The Independent Commission will have two broad functions — strategy and planning, and procurement and delivery support.
• It will provide expert advice, planning and strategy, and support the delivery of major infrastructure projects across the country. It will also be a one-stop shop for investors, including publishing a pipeline of infrastructure projects.
• As an autonomous Crown Entity with an independent board, the commission will have the credibility and influence required to effect real change. Ministers will retain final decision making rights, as is appropriate.
Infrastructure board members
Chairman NZ Infrastructure Commission
Bollard is professor of practice at Victoria University of Wellington. He has distinguished record as a public servant and is the only person to have been both Secretary of the Treasury and Governor of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand. He was previously executive director of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) secretariat in Singapore. He holds a PhD in Economics and an honorary Doctor of Laws from Auckland University. He is chair of the board of trustees of the NZ National Portrait Gallery and is an honorary advisor to the Asia NZ Foundation.
CEO, Infrastructure NZ
New Zealand's "Mr Infrastructure", Selwood bows out as chief executive of Infrastructure NZ at this week's Building Nations Symposium in Rotorua, which this year has a focus on Building Regions. In 2005, Selwood became the inaugural CEO of the predecessor organisation — the NZ Council for Infrastructure Development — and built the organisation into today's powerhouse. He is credited with an understanding of strategic governance and integrated long-term planning linked to effective funding, regulation and delivery of NZ's infrastructure system.
A member of the expert review panel for the NZ Infrastructure Commission, Sinclair has extensive experience acting for both government and private sector clients in large-scale, complex infrastructure projects. She is known for providing commercially pragmatic, strategic advice on infrastructure funding models, procurement strategies and contracting structures. She has extensive experience in infrastructure and commercial law. She is currently at partner at law firm MinterEllisonRuddWatts and chairs the partnership.
CEO, Watercare Services
Jadruam has over 20 years working in the water industry in New Zealand and Australia. An engineer, he has deep institutional and systems knowledge of the infrastructure sector and had worked with a variety of stakeholders across the public and private sectors.
Jaduram currently leads Auckland's Watercare Services and before that he was managing director of Murrumbidgee Irrigation in Australia. He is a director of the Committee for Auckland and chaired the Centre for Infrastructure Research at University of Auckland (2016-2018).
Former banker and independent director
Tindal brings extensive knowledge of domestic and global markets including structuring large multi-currency infrastructure financing programmes. She has led and delivered large scale infrastructure and technology projects in New Zealand, Australia and Asia, which required complex and external stakeholder management. She is a former chief financial officer at Auckland Council and is a former CFO at WEL Group (incorporating WEL Networks and Ultrafast Fibre). Hamilton-based Tindal held earlier roles at CBA and Westpac.
Special Counsel, Simpson Grierson
Cochrane's experience includes drafting law in New Zealand and overseas, and he has advised on the implementation of government policy in a range of areas including local government, transport, government administration, corporatisation, superannuation, primary industry and health. He was a member of the Legislative Advisory Committee (2011-2017) and the Waitangi Tribunal (2014-2018). Previously a member of the national board at Chapman Tripp, he is now special counsel at Simpson Grierson.
Grayson to head up Infrastructure Commission
Treasury deputy secretary Jon Grayson has been appointed chief executive of the Infrastructure Commission.
Grayson's appointment was confirmed at the first meeting of the commission's board last week.
As deputy secretary, financial and commercial at Treasury for the past two years, Grayson has also been responsible for infrastructure and the housing group. He earlier had responsibility for driving a major public sector reform programme as director-general, Department of the Premier and Cabinet with the Queensland Government. Before that he was chief executive of Prime Infrastructure, leading the acquisition of one of the world's largest coal export terminals and the subsequent successful ASX listing of the investment fund. He also delivered a major report on rail industry reform in Queensland.