Govt to nominate Treasury's John Whitehead as executive director to World Bank, Finance Minister Bill English says

The New Zealand government will nominate Treasury head John Whitehead as an executive director to the World Bank, Finance Minister Bill English said today.

Whitehead's contract as Chief Executive and Secretary to the Treasury is due to expire in April 2011.

English said it was New Zealand’s turn to represent the constituency that it shares at the World Bank with Australia, the Republic of Korea and several other Pacific Island and Asian states. New Zealand is due to rotate into the Washington-based role for a two-year term from August 2011.

Here is the release from English:

The Government will nominate Secretary to the Treasury, John Whitehead, as an executive director to the World Bank, Finance Minister Bill English says. 

It is New Zealand’s turn to represent the constituency that it shares at the World Bank with Australia, the Republic of Korea and several other Pacific Island and Asian states. New Zealand is due to rotate into the Washington-based role for a two-year term from August 2011.

Mr English says Mr Whitehead was chosen after a selection process that attracted 31 candidates from the public and private sectors.

"It is an important strategic opportunity for New Zealand to exert influence at the World Bank, and to develop networks and raise our profile," Mr English says.

"I'm delighted that a person of Mr Whitehead’s calibre has emerged as the preferred candidate to represent the constituency.

"Mr Whitehead is an experienced economic policy-maker and strategic thinker, and someone with excellent people and representational skills. He will be a high quality Executive Director for our World Bank constituency," Mr English says.

The Minister of Finance, as New Zealand’s governor to the World Bank, nominates an appointee and then constituency members are consulted on a "no-objections basis". The process also requires the nomination to be confirmed by the World Bank Board.

Mr Whitehead’s contract as Chief Executive and Secretary to the Treasury is due to expire in April 2011.

Most of Mr Whitehead's 34 year career in the Public Service has been spent at the Treasury. Mr Whitehead was appointed as Secretary to the Treasury in April 2003.

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3 Comments

It takes a certain sort of person to spend 34 years in the Public Service.

I rest my case.  

"Mr Whitehead is an experienced economic policy-maker and strategic thinker, and someone with excellent people and representational skills. He will be a high quality Executive Director for our World Bank constituency," Mr English says. 

Indeed, that'll be why you ignored his call for a capital gains tax then ....

 

It would be a shame to lose Mr Whitehead. I have been impressed by his honesty on the issues NZ faces and by some of the solutions he proposed to resolve them. He certainly challenged the Government on a number of issues.

Mind you, if NZ continues along it unsustainable path we may be calling on the World Bank in the near future, so good to have someone on the inside.