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Minister of Finance announces Graeme Wheeler to be appointed RBNZ Governor

News release issued by the Minister of Finance

Finance Minister Bill English today announced his intention to appoint Graeme Wheeler Governor and chief executive of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, after Alan Bollard's second five-year term expires on 25 September 2012.

Mr Wheeler will be governor-designate until a new policy targets agreement is finalised in the next few months. This is required before a new Governor is appointed.

"Mr Wheeler's extensive experience makes him a highly respected figure in world financial markets and within New Zealand," Mr English says. "We were fortunate to have someone of his calibre available for this important role."

From 1997 to 2010, Mr Wheeler was employed by the World Bank. His most recent roles there included managing director operations (2006-2010), and vice-president and treasurer (2001-2006). Previously, he was at the New Zealand Treasury as deputy secretary and treasurer of the Debt Management Office.

Mr Wheeler, a New Zealander, currently lives in the United States and runs his own advisory business.

As required under the Reserve Bank Act 1989, the Reserve Bank board of directors recommended Mr Wheeler's appointment to Mr English, after an extensive recruitment process domestically and internationally.

"Given his experience and standing, combined with his technical and leadership qualities, the board considered that he has all the qualities required to become governor and chief executive of the Reserve Bank," Mr English says.

He does not envisage any major changes to the policy targets agreement.

"I consider that the current PTA has served New Zealand well and there are benefits in maintaining consistency in the PTA.

"However, the global financial crisis has focused some attention on monetary policy frameworks, and I want to ensure that the PTA continues to reflect best international practice."

Mr English also paid tribute to Dr Bollard for his leadership at the Reserve Bank over the past 10 years.

"He helped steer the New Zealand financial system through the biggest global crisis in several generations. At the same time, he ensured that this country continued to enjoy one of the most stable inflation environments in the world."

Note: Mr Wheeler will not be commenting on his nomination until after he has taken up his role in September.


Media contact: Craig Howie 027 755 5809