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Tauranga port boss to Meridian board ahead of part-sale

BUSINESSDESK: Port of Tauranga chief executive Mark Cairns is among a crop of new directors appointed to the boards of Meridian and Genesis Energy as the state-owned power companies prepare for partial privatisation.

Also appointed to Meridian is Sally Farrier, an expatriate, Melbourne-based energy sector consultant who is in business with TrustPower director Geoff Swier, and is listed on the Farrier Swier consulting group website as a director of Hydro Tasmania and an Australian National Water Commissioner.

While no timetable is announced for the Meridian and Genesis sales, MightyRiverPower is slated to go through a 49% sale process by the end of September.

Depending on market conditions and the MRP float's success, another energy company float could occur as early as the first quarter of 2013, with Meridian widely viewed as the most likely next candidate.

State-Owned Enterprises Minister Tony Ryall also announced three new appointments to the Genesis Energy board.

They are Alison Andrew, general manager of Orica Chemicals, private equity specialist and former Emerald Capital managing director Andrew Clements, and KiwiRail director John Leuchars.

They replace retiring directors Barbara Elliston, Nicki Crauford and Dennis Wood.

MRP directors Trevor Janes, Jon Hartley and Dr Michael Allen have been reappointed, while Alan Broome has been reappointed to the board of Solid Energy, the other state-owned energy company slated for partial sale.

Comments and questions
4

I have always wondered how a CEO or a large listed company has time to be a director of another large company. Surely it must impact on the performance of one job, if not both.

I am sure the Chairman and board of POT wouldn't have given him to green light on this if they felt there would be an issue. Mark will do a fine job as a Director; the man has done an outstanding job at the Port and put his own stamp on that business for the betterment of all shareholders.

I am sure they have but I have always questioned the logic. Top exec's should be focused on the business, not concerned with the governance of another company which is about to list.

Remember, they justify the high directors fees buy saying it is more than just 12 meetings per year, it also includes days of prep for each one.

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