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Ex-KiwiRail boss becomes LPC director

Former KiwiRail chief executive Jim Quinn will still be keeping an eye on the railways lines in his new post.

Yesterday he was appointed an independent director of NZX-listed Lyttelton Port Company [NZX: LPC].

In the middle of 2013 the board of KiwiRail announced it would not renew Mr Quinn’s contract after February 2014 and would seek a new chief executive to “re-challenge” the company’s financial performance.

KiwiRail announced a sharply reduced forecast profit for mid-2014.

Mr Quinn and KiwiRail have worked with Lyttelton Port in recent years as a business partner along with Solid Energy, ensuring the delivery of coal from the West Coast, plus a special service set up to deliver Fonterra milk products from Clandeboye.

Mr Quinn’s new position may be a little more relaxed than his time with KiwiRail.

In recent years he took the flak for KiwiRail acquiring locomotives and wagons from China with expensive results when they broke down.

Mr Quinn also oversaw the closure of KiwiRail's Hillside manufacturing plant in Dunedin at the end of last year with the loss of 134 jobs.

The recent loss of an interislander ferry’s propeller at a recovery cost of around $30 million was another difficult public relations exercise to manage.

During his tenure at KiwiRail he also oversaw $100 million of freight business growth and about $1.4 billion of capital expenditure.

Lyttelton Port announced Mr Quinn’s appointment yesterday at the same time it published its audited interim report. He replaces director Alan Grant.

c.hutch@clear.net.nz

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