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Rodney Hide

22 May, 2009

Mark Ford to lead Auckland Transition Agency

Local Government Minister Rodney Hide today announced that Mark Ford would chair the Auckland Transition Agency (ATA). 


The Agency will manage the transition from the existing seven territorial authorities and one regional council, to a single unitary authority for Auckland and 20 to 30 Local Boards. ATA has six main areas to manage.  They are:



  • The creation of the Auckland Council and the Local Boards

  • Managing the organisational changes

  • Ensuring continued delivery of councils’ and Council Controlled Organisations’  responsibilities

  • Continued momentum of key projects such as the Rugby World Cup and waterfront development

  • Ensuring the transition process is well communicated to stakeholders

  • Winding up existing organisations once the new organisation has been established

Mr Hide also announced that the other members of the Auckland Transition Agency were Miriam Dean QC, John Law, Wayne Walden and John Waller.  The appointments are effective immediately.


“I am very pleased to be able to announce a transition agency of this calibre,” Mr Hide said.  “


Mr Ford is highly respected in his present leadership roles as Chief Executive of Watercare Services Ltd and Chair of the Auckland Regional Transport Authority (ARTA). He has a strong understanding of Auckland governance and a proven record in managing complex situations and leading high performing teams.  To manage any perception of a conflict of interest, Mr Ford is to resign from his present positions with Watercare and ARTA.


“This is the most demanding and important corporate assignment in New Zealand.  That is why we’ve chosen someone of Mr Ford’s calibre and appointed him as Executive Chairman to ensure he has the powers to fulfil his role effectively.


”The board will be accountable to the Ministers of Local Government, Finance and Transport, and there will be oversight by the Secretary of Local Government and the Office of the Auditor-General.” Mr Hide said Miriam Dean, John Waller, John Law and Wayne Walden are all well known for their strong governance and management acumen and experience. 


“Their combined skills and strengths will play a vital part in developing the new governance structures and roles to manage the $28 billion of assets effectively and enable Auckland to realise its powerful potential. “Its work is essential if Aucklanders are to be in a position to elect the members of the Auckland Council and the Local Boards in the October 2010 local government elections.”


The Transition Agency is a statutory entity and will only exist until the Auckland Council comes into existence in 2010.


Auckland Transition Agency members


Mark Ford (Executive Chair)
CEO of Watercare Services Ltd since 1994 and Chairman of the Auckland Regional Transport Authority since 2007.  Previous roles have included CEO of Auckland Regional Services Trust and CEO of NZ Forestry Corporation. 


Miriam Dean
Extensive legal experience, appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2004.  An experienced mediator and arbitrator with strong governance experience.


John Waller
Chartered accountant with change management expertise.  Chairman of the Bank of New Zealand and adviser on many successful restructurings. 


John Law
Extensive Auckland region local government experience, including seven years as Mayor of Rodney District Council (2001-07). 


Wayne Walden
Experienced company director and manager, with extensive governance experience. Former Chair of Maori Television (2003-08).  Affiliated to Ngati Kahu and Tai Tokerau.



    • Rodney Hide
    • Local Government