Rail industry news (Australia, New Zealand)

KiwiRail chair to retire

KiwiRail Board Chair David McLean has announced that he advised shareholding Ministers last week of his intention to retire from the Board, effective end July.

“My current term on the Board was due to finish on October 31. I advised shareholding Ministers last week that, in my view, stepping aside from the start of the new financial year is best for the organisation as it enters a new phase of its development,” he said.

“I understand the Government intends to announce my retirement today, so I have brought my announcement forward.

“I joined KiwiRail because I believe that rail has a critical role to play in New Zealand’s future -transporting goods to market, reducing road congestion, and contributing to New Zealand’s low carbon economy. I am proud of the role that KiwiRail plays and believe that it is in a strong position to build on this legacy.

“I leave with confidence in a team and an organisation that has dealt with many major challenges and is now in a much stronger and more stable position.

In McLean’s two and a half years as Chair the organisation appointed a new CEO in Peter Reidy, refreshed the board, strengthened the management team, and built stronger relationships with stakeholders.

“This has enabled KiwiRail to successfully deliver many major projects, including major track and facility rebuilds, equipment procurement, and readiness for Auckland City Rail Link, as well as recovering from the 2023 floods and Cyclone Gabrielle,” he said.

“Notwithstanding yesterday’s grounding of the Aratere (the cause of which will be determined in due course), there has been a significant improvement in asset management, particularly on the Interislander ferries, which has been confirmed by recent independent reports.

“New transformation programmes for health and safety and commercial performance improvement have been launched, with an increased focus on its core business.

“KiwiRail is now beginning the next phase of its evolution to being a modern, efficient transport operator.

“I would like to acknowledge the rest of the KiwiRail Board, CEO Peter Reidy, and all of the people who work at KiwiRail. KiwiRail has a strong and passionate team, whose support and enthusiasm for the organisation will underpin the company’s future success.”