The New Zealand government has announced the new composition of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) board, as part of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act 2021, which came into force on July 1.
The new act establishes a statutory governance board, which includes members appointed by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the government and includes RBNZ governor Adrian Orr.
“This is a significant change that will strengthen the institutional arrangements of the Reserve Bank,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson (pictured above) 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.
According to Robertson, the structure protects the Reserve 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.
Retained from the board’s previous iteration are Prof. Neil Quigley and Susan Paterson. Quigley is the vice-chancellor of the University of Waikato and has been chair of the current Reserve Bank board since 2016. Paterson, who has been part of the board since 2019, was previously an external advisor to the bank’s Monetary Policy Committee and brings significant experience of governance oversight of a regulatory body.
The new board members are:
Rodger Finlay, who previously chaired NZ Post Ltd and PGG Wrightson and is a director of Ngāi Tahu Holdings Ltd. He has worked in investment banking across Australasia, Southeast Asia, Africa, the UK, Europe, and the US, bringing a strong understanding of business, finance, and strategy.
Jeremy Banks (Rangitāne, Ngāti Kuia), who founded 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.
Prof. 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 works to frame Māori strategy, policy, and outcomes. In 2018, Higgins was appointed as the commissioner for Te Taura Whiri i Te Reo Māori, after leading a review to change 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. A former executive director and partner at Goldman Sachs, he brings strong understanding of financial and capital markets, the aims and impacts of regulation, and a focus on fostering financial stability for all New Zealanders. Pepper is a director at Ando Insurance Group, 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 chaired Parininihi Ki Waitotara Incorporation for ten years. Raumati-Tu’ua developed a governance portfolio which includes Māori-owned and Māori-centric entities, as well as more mainstream organisations such as Public Trust and Auckland Council Investments Ltd.
“We have also sought to get a mix of backgrounds and experience to give a wide range of perspectives,” Robertson said. “Members not only have knowledge of the New Zealand and global economy, but also experience of managing people and culture, and digital change.”