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ANZ NZ, the country's biggest bank, to have ex-PM John Key as its chairman from January 2018

ANZ NZ, the country's biggest bank, to have ex-PM John Key as its chairman from January 2018

Former Prime Minister John Key is to replace outgoing ANZ Bank New Zealand chairman John Judge.

ANZ confirmed the move on Wednesday, which has been rumoured in the banking sector for some time.

Judge is set to retire in January. He has been on the ANZ NZ board since December 2008, and its chairman since June 2012. Key joins the board today, October 18, and will succeed Judge as chairman in January.

David Gonski, chairman of Australian parent ANZ Group, said Judge’s tenure included significant change at ANZ NZ.

“The National Bank and ANZ brands and technology systems were successfully merged in 2012 and the business has grown significantly. ANZ New Zealand now has the biggest market share for home loans, deposits, credit cards and KiwiSaver, and is leading the way with digital services," Gonski said.

Gonski said Key would add "great value."

“Sir John Key’s strong international career in banking and his understanding of and contacts across the Asia-Pacific – where many Australian and New Zealand companies are increasingly trading - will add great value to the governance of ANZ,” said Gonski.

Key, a former head of global foreign exchange with Merrill Lynch, was Prime Minister from 2008 until his surprise resignation late last year. Since stepping down as PM he has also joined the Air New Zealand board as an independent director.

During his time as PM Key was popular among the banking fraternity. Former Westpac NZ CEO George Frazis said of Key in 2011: "The Prime Minister has a business background, an ex-banker, and this is resulting in quite decisive, responsive decision making based on really sound, fundamental economic objectives."

"For banking what that sees is a government much more focused [than Australia's] on growth and credit availability, which in turn is contributing to the improved economic outlook," Frazis added.

Key follows in the footsteps of another former National Party leader, Don Brash, who was on the ANZ NZ board, when it was known as ANZ National Bank, from 2007 to 2011. Brash is now chairman of the Chinese government controlled bank, ICBC NZ.

ANZ NZ’s other current independent directors are Tony Carter, Mark Verbiest and Joan Withers. Executive directors on the board are ANZ NZ CEO and group executive David Hisco, ANZ Group chief risk officer and group executive Nigel Williams, and ANZ Group CEO Shayne Elliott. 

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

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I forecast that he will one day be the chairman of ICBC New Zealand.


Here is an opportunity for all those haters of JK who bank with the ANZ to really nail their colours to the mast.
I bet it won't happen.

What’s to like ?


created conditions for debt growth and gets rewarded with a plum job

Amazingly powerful that JK.
He caused the spending blow-out Labour bequeathed to the nation, and the GFC, and the ChCh earthquakes.
That puts him pretty well up there with God.


He did cause the debt blowout. Labour almost paid off the public debt (the best you could expect), and JK clocked up $81b in public debt over his almost 9 years. The superfund that Labour created and National didn't contribute to is now worth $36.4b. Is there anything that National has done that's worth that much, besides the over $4b in asset sales?


Well they castrated kiwisaver and then allowed it to be used for property purchases.

Both awesome achievements to be really proud of.

Read the 2008 PREFU if you want to know where the debt was heading.
And would you rather the gov't hadn't increased debt to temper the effects of the GFC?
And would you rather it hadn't spent money on the ChCh rebuild?


Christchurch there's not a thing they could do and they had to spend the money. You missed out on pointing out that the money they borrowed was at a very favourable rate too. Unfortunately Christchurch has still not been rebuilt, it's changed a lot and partially that's the fault of poor handling of the disaster. There was no need to stamp out the economy in the CBD to give the appearance of Government action.

In relation to the GFC they should have just printed money instead of borrowing it.

The 2017 PREFU looks concerning and I wonder how we'll view it in 9 years.

In addition you left out the fiddling of ACC's books. What we don't know yet is what National have done to fiddle the numbers.

ACC was a classic, they sold a load of BS to the public.
the ACC account plumented due to the GFC as most of it is invested in equities yet they went around going on about bad spending etc nothing to do with why the books looked bad,
then surprise a few years later when equities are roaring and they have increased by an amazing amount suddenly we are fully funded and its all our doing so we can cut your payments
total snowjob that was sold to the sheeple

With ACC and the Superfund now being part owners of Kiwibank it makes you wonder what's going on there.

What do you know that the Treasury doesn't?

Here is the first line of the 2017 PREFU: "New Zealand's economy and the Crown's books are in a sound state".

Perhaps you should read beyond that line.

When you take account gst received from private insurance being respent in Canterbury and insurance policies the Government had for a disaster, including much net really has spent on Christchurch...

Dictator - as a National Govt critic, why would you highlight what has been a great strength of the National Govt throughout their term unless you don't understand the numbers and situation ? - it's one thing that Labour has been careful to avoid doing because it knows it the facts but has been quite happy to see ignorance about it spread. MLPC is correct, go look at the 2008 PREFU and see what spending commitments Labour left them with, understand what hit the country with the GFC and earthquakes etc. And what debt are we left with, 24.6% one of the very lowest in the OECD, and surpluses and growth rates that are heading toward a 20% ratio.

Now in that time, and in the labour Govt's time before that, go look at what households did with their debt, world class bad. And in that regard, have a look at what ultra low interest rates did to asset/house prices that caused that. But then you'd suggest rates should never have gone that low, and the Govt should never have increased the debt through 2008-12 to get through the height of the GFC crisis ?


As I've already responded to the other points I'll just comment on NZ household debt seeing you want to include that.

If household debt was worldclass bad under Labour then what household have done under National must be a financial catastrophe. Debt to income is higher and any increase in interest rates is going to have a devastating effect.

But he has not reached the dizzy heights of Clarke Gayford, who has the awesome responsibility of selling snake oil MitoQ on TV .


lets check the rise in NZ household debt between 2008 and 2016, who was in charge of policy setting
high immigration, no curbs on overseas buyers, no CG tax, no RMA changes to speed up building, no forcing of land release by the councils, put minister clueless in charge,
then to top it off sells his own place at the peak
my question did he work for the good of NZ or him and his mates
the banks have never made better profits during his time in charge ( i own shares in all the big 4)

Payoff time.

Judging by our ANZ/ING frozen funds group protest National worked against us under a Key government , Key advised us to stop our protest against ANZ in respect of nation interest , i now know which national he was talking about . I wonder if the deal was cut back in 2014 .

Philip, how, when and where did John Key advise you to stop the protest against ANZ?

He navigated the GFC by helping ASBNZ get $$ from overseas
The Aussie / NZ banking system stood outside the Northern shonky banking system so that protected NZers more than anything a PM could do
ChCh was indeed a major NZ disaster but I would never claim Brownleeeee & EQC JTF XYZ handled matters satisfactorily
Witness the Japanese disaster was virtually all taken care of in just 2 years
ChCh recovery just took far too long and a great part of that was due to holdups with the government side of insurance and sloppy inspections by non qualified “inspectors”
The new flag folly was all JKs idea and farcical and failed
The PM of a country doesn’t go around publicly stroking numerous females ponytails unless he has a fetish
The offer of a bottle of his whine should have been accepted by the poor molested young woman who should have clocked him with the bottle.
Now before censoring this response Check out why JK was never charged for carrying on like this to small children to young adult women ?
He was PM and rich so he received a free pass
It was all laughed away because he was PM & very wealthy
Meanwhile the rest of the worlds media had a field day

Northern lights - that's a rant not a posting

Agreed. We need some robust moderation on this forum.

NorthernLights for PM, he can do so much better than anyone else...

Sadly I failed to get the ACT party & Douglas to go down the correct road
My time helping others is now limited to the US Navy Seal Family Foundation
Good Luck with your new NZ Govt


Yes Washdoesntwash I caught the plane out
Couldn’t weather the persecution
I’m OK though I got a few passports
No begging yet anyways

Jk did guarantee dodgy finance companies , make billions for private investors at the expense of tax payers when another failed ventured crash , Canterbury Finance and many more .


the debt peddler is back at it
Selling out the future for everyone
someone knight that man


Nailed it... ANZ will never, never, repeat Never......have their share of my business from this moment onward.

Some things, money cannot buy.

Please vote with your me. Never upset a good customer, is my motto. And that you can bank on.

Do have a good day.

Thanks, I will have a good day.
Just popping out to transfer my a/c to the ANZ.

You don't need to, watch for Chinese money coming into the bank now....

I hope you have a lot, it will be needed, just for my paltry sum.

Miopic nobody at ANZ would notice your bank deposit !

I suggest an education is needed. Can you not see the writing on the wall?.

(ANZ may get one, I do not care...they ain't my main bank, just one of many).

Unless you want to make a spectacle of oneself..One eyed I maybe, stupid I ain't. A few Up-ticks agree with me....comments are cheap....but to the point.

Not that I want to make light of your comment and all points North.

Alter Ego - you may be onto ANZ's cunning plan

During our battle against ANZ when they shafted us for $700 million many of our friends closed their accounts saying if you rob our friends will we be next . These people are fair weather friends but still banksters .

I can safely say 2018 will be a good year for ANZ. I'm sure they'll make headlines.

but for what reasons....


I also didn't make it clear what I meant by good either.

There is no such thing as bad publicity.

tell that to Northern Rock

Spoken like a true politician ...... :-)


Will ANZ staff be allowed to wear their hair in a pony tail, or is that simply too much temptation for their new chairman?

Hair will have to be tied up in to a manbun for safety reasons.

Don't want any ponytail pulling. ... imagine the PG.

First order to ANZ HR dept
All new female employees must have long hair and worn in a nice neat long ponytail
Each female employee which meets the requirements will receive a hand delivered bottle of ChateauJK2016
Cheap vintage

“Sir John Key’s strong international career in banking and his understanding of and contacts across the Asia-Pacific – where many Australian and New Zealand companies are increasingly trading - will add great value to the governance of ANZ,

Interesting to mention JK's contacts in Asia=Pacific when ANZ has sold its retail and wealth business in S'pore. ANZ has no presence in Japan anymore. It has recently sold its operations in Vietnam to Shinhan Bank. Vietnam never ever happened for ANZ, a country where there is a extreme wealth among a few, but ANZ could never tap into that. The ANZ "brand" is licensed to the Royal Group in Cambodia, which is basically a family business that operates casinos as their primary cash cow.

ANZ's presence in Asia Pacific is not great and it has largely failed in Asia Pacific. It's a mortgage house. Nothing more; nothing less.

I think their presence in China has also been wound back(?)

JC that’s very interesting
I don’t follow Australasian banking these days
To me I still think the ANZ was Australian parent owned

ANZ is domiciled in Australia. It doesn't mean they cannot expand into Asia Pacific. They did. To grow the business. And they have largely failed.

Typical kiwi
You praise them & they completely misconstrue the compliment
Wake Up

Considering this has been selected as comment of the day you might want to fact check. Google is your friend.

Are you referring to me? All those facts are accurate.

But according to Shayne Elliot, there was no failure.

Vietnam recently executed a corrupt bank CEO perhaps ANZ thought they were getting too close . John stick to NZ for safety reasons .

The Revolving Door has revolved the other way, I see.

It would be pretty easy to create a hashtag in facebook for people to post when they close their ANZ accounts.


Actually more Corporates may #JoinANZ now

So JK has the skill set to chair a large bank?

Or is there oversight in lieu of the PR gains?

Given the derivatives that ANZ holds I would say yes he has the skills to chair ANZ.

The PR gains will definitely suck in both National supporters and retail investors (probably a lot of overlap in those groups).

If there is one thing I can never say JK is wrong about it is his skills in international FOREX
He is a very smart guy which is why so many of us became so disappointed in his lack of achievement with the NZ economy
I am speaking of strategic long term planning which he had no clue or care for
He was a reasonable middle of the road smiling illusionist with a fetish

There’s is no long-term strategic planning with a fickle voting public in a democracy. Rather that’s consigned to business’ where the intellegence and patience of a board is on a much higher level.

I wish him well , he is well positioned to add value to the Bank . His easy going demeanour disguises the fact that he is an incredibly astute man with a dogged determination .

His ability to keep his cool under pressure is a valuable attribute for any Corporate.


Do you take pleasure in being mislead?


His inability to recall things might be a liability.


That's easily fixed by leaving a dictaphone running.


Actually it has been a blessing for him, may continue that way.

Like buying a fleet of BMW's .

Spoken like a laconic Boatman
He will add value to ANZ by attracting Chinese cash
Don’t expect him to plan anything long term for the bank
His forte is dealing international FOREX making millions
That’s his one greatest trick Oh ! and his second best trick is complete amnesia forgetting special arranged dinner he has with old school chum to ask him to be head of spies
Anyone would forget that
Strangely people still like him
A smile hides a lot I guess

Hence the epithet, "the smiling assassin"


I can't help but read his name as Chon Kee now. Don't forget he got a cushy job at AirNZ too. I bank with ANZ but won't get getting my next mortgage there!

I'm glad I don't bank with them and would certainly move to another bank, since it's highly likely that he'll get them to practice highly risk lending and before you know it we'll be in the same boat and Iceland.

I also wouldn't be surprised if he convinces them to lend to foreign Speculative Investors again, on the misconception and belief that property prices always go up no matter how much debt you're in.


Gatekeepers are the key functionaries in a rentier economy in which the few at the top skim the wealth of the many. Want to play in the big leagues? You have to pay the Gatekeepers what they demand.
It might be the casting couch or a slice of the profits, or a vote in committee, but the price of admission will always include complicity--silence about the crimes committed; the endemic corruption, and a sacrifice of moral standards. This is the minimal price of "success" in the elite circles of wealth and power.
If you doubt this, dig deep into any concentration of power and see what you find. Outsiders won't find anyone willing to talk, of course; that's how complicity works.
Everyone has a simple but profound choice. Either place your integrity above all else, and refuse to climb the pyramid of wealth and power, or succumb to greed and become complicit in an empire of greed, complicity and corruption.
If "success" means a fat salary, points of gross, invitations to A-list parties, access to the inner circle, being the right-hand boy/girl of someone powerful, a seat on the private jet, etc., then you will be required to pay the Gatekeepers and sacrifice whatever integrity you once possessed.
If integrity means more than any of these baubles, then prepare to fail. You won't clamber up the pyramid, you won't get past the Gatekeepers, and you won't be invited to join the elite skimming the nation's wealth for its own gratification and greed.
But you will still have yourself, your pride, and your integrity.
It's not an easy choice. (CH Smith)

Remember when John Key naively told us early in his term that "You don't get out of debt by borrowing more money!". What happened to that! Did a Gatekeeper remind him of what was at stake? "Get back to New Zealand and get your citizens borrowing, like the rest of us" is a possible scenario, and we have done as we were told.
And the worst part about passing a Gatekeeper? You often don't know that you have until you look back...and it's too late. You're captured...and you can't say anything.....

Best part about his chairmanship, when he resigns you'll know it's because he can see the wave coming from his lofty heights.

The Headline should be 'John Key stumps Winston Peters (Once again)'...
Baubles of ex-Office...

I find the amount of negativity from commentators very sad. It doesn't actually matter whether it's about John Key, Housing, Immigration, the Left, the Right, Winston Peters, the RBNZ...

So many on this site are so quick to criticize and seem to think they could do better themselves

So appointing JK as the Chairman of ANZ going to lift their opportunities? How? As a fixer?

I would say he started working for them 5 years ago , or before .

I hardly think legitimate criticism of various topics is "very sad," and I don't believe anyone on here has ever said they can do better themselves.

Maybe you could tell us some positive things about our falling rates of home ownership, our over inflated property prices, our mediocre productivity, our low wage economy, the continual outflow of Kiwis out of the country, NZ's love affair with property or our government selling out future generations. Being critical of said things is entirely justified.

Personally I don't buy into the rose tinted glasses perspective some have on here, where everything in NZ is sunshine and daisies and nothing in NZ is bad, but that's just me.

I hardly think legitimate criticism of various topics is "very sad," and I don't believe anyone on here has ever said they can do better themselves.

I agree. First it's important to remember that JK will not be running a bank. He is there for guidance. He has a range of different qualities, skills and experience that will be ideal for that.

And his inside contacts , lets not forget John key does not know how to run a bank has not worked his way up through all areas of .

Well, I find the disrespect to our former Prime Minister who has now been knighted appalling. We are all entitled to our own opinions but there is no need for name calling like Shon Kee, or Chong Kee etc.

Jimmy Saville was knighted .

Yvil - they're the same people that want to crash foreign investment and have little appreciation of what that means to say Govt bond yield/mortgages in a country that are not savers/investors and rely heavily on the support of foreigners to maintain their lifestyles and expectations of cheap and always available credit.

Very true. If NZers really want to cut foreign investment they need to stop consuming beyond their means. If we're running a trade/current account deficit, there is no other choice than to borrow foreign funds or take in foreign equity. In a nutshell, if we want much less foreign investment, we need to increase our savings rate and cut our meaningless consumption.

Isn't that the truth. Spending in the $2 shop on trinkets and low cost clothing is recycled into foreign investment in real assets.

What a pity I took a business account out of ANZ four years back so I cannot do it again.

John Key continuing his life work to ensure the richer get richer and the poorer get poorer. The contrast with Helen Clark couldn't be more striking.

It helps to be a natural vulture, leech or piranha.
ANZ like their Oz mates excuse their profiteering by saying that need to get a return on capital. That ''capital' was obtained in the first place by creating excess profits.
Key is a natural fit to that concept.

I don't know if anyone remembers the ANZ/ING frozen funds group the protest group that was formed after ANZ and ING ripped 12.000 KIwi's of aprox $6/700 million .This ended up at government level final meetings with Key and English at that stage we had managed to get the banks a slap on the wrist and the return of most of our money under very unpleasant contract supported by National that we had challenged via a private members bill . At that meeting we pressed for ANZ to be stripped of its KIwi saver and Bonus bond business . JK advised us not to proceed with more protests in the interest of the nation , one wonders whose interests he was actually talking about , as a result ANZ saved millions .

This is how corruption works in New Zealand. The payment for services rendered doesn't come in the form of notes in a paper bag, because that can be prosecuted as bribery under the Crimes Act. The way we do it is in the form of directorships and jobs a few years down the track. Or overpayment on sales of assets.

I was the only one who said i don't trust them , pleased although a long time down the line my views are vindicated . To be honest when i heard the news my heart sank , did he already have that job in the bag when he was lying to us .

Let's not forget that Key expressed the desire to make NZ a major financial hub in the Pacific. What he didn't reveal was that he meant us to be a tax haven-the repository of as much dirty money as could be shovelled into the country. Does anyone believe that action would have been taken on the many overseas trusts, had the Panama Papers not been leaked?
Then there is tea gate and ponytail gate,but all these minor peccadillos can surely be overlooked when we consider Key's crowning achievement-The national Cycleway. Need I say more?

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Days to the General Election: 36
See Party Policies here. Party Lists here.