MEDIA RELEASE: Appointment of EPA Establishment Board

Source: www.beehive.govt.nz

Minister for the Environment, Nick Smith today announced the members of a four-strong Establishment Board tasked with ensuring the new Environmental Protection Authority is ready for business on 1 July.

“The Environmental Protection Authority has been established to strengthen and improve New Zealand’s environmental management. It will be an independent Crown agent at arms length from the Government with its own board of directors. The role of the Establishment Board is to start the recruitment process for a chief executive for the EPA, and give consideration to appointments to and terms of reference for the Mâori Advisory Committee and Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Committee,” Dr Smith said.

The Establishment Board will be chaired by former Wellington Mayor Kerry Prendergast. The other members include Richard Woods, Chair of the Environmental Risk Management Authority; Dr Keith Turner, former Chief Executive of Meridian Energy; and Anake Goodall, retiring Chief Executive of Te Rûnanga o Ngâi Tahu.

“This group has a high calibre of skills and experience in organisational governance, management, central government processes, and an understanding of the environment – and its links to the economy – which are all essential in giving the EPA a sound start,” Dr Smith said.

In November last year the Government introduced legislation to establish the EPA as a Crown entity. It passed its first reading unanimously and is currently before the Local Government and Environment Committee. That committee is due to report back to Parliament by the end of this month.

No presumption should be made that the Establishment Board is to form the new authority. Dr Turner has specifically only made himself available for this establishment phase.

“This is a further step along the Government’s environmental reform programme of providing stronger central Government leadership and establishing the new Environmental Protection Authority.”

EPA Establishment Board biographies

Kerry Prendergast (Chair) As Mayor of Wellington from 2001 to 2010 and as a borough and city councillor for 15 years prior to that, Ms Prendergast gained substantial governance experience. During her time as Mayor, she was involved in significant periods of change and growth at the Wellington City Council. She also brings knowledge in environmental management and has experience working with Ministers and government departments.

Richard Woods has been the Chair of the Environmental Risk Management Authority (ERMA), one of the agencies forming the new EPA, since 2008. He is a member of the Independent Police Conduct Authority and a former Chief Executive of the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service. He will bring his knowledge of ERMA and considerable experience in governance procedures and of central government processes. He will also bring demonstrated strategic and leadership skills to the position.

Anake Goodall was Chief Executive Officer of Te Rûnanga o Ngâi Tahu from November 2007 until he announced he was standing down in February this year. He has 35 years experience in management and organisational leadership, principally in the areas of entrepreneurial organisational development, complex negotiations, financial and community asset management, environmental protection and enhancement, and community capacity-building initiatives. He also brings to this role, his extensive experience as manager of Ngâi Tahu’s historical settlement process and as an independent consultant to a number of Mâori tribes.

Dr Keith Turner is a former Chief Executive of Meridian Energy and brings significant experience as a director of new organisations. He has also been effective in industry reform. Dr Turner is a director of a number of companies. He has 39 years experience in the New Zealand electricity sector, including 21 years in senior executive positions. He has been instrumental in the reform of the electricity industry including being a member of the Transpower Establishment Board and the Contact Energy Establishment Team and the Market Surveillance Committee.