Commerce Minister Simon Power joining Westpac, heading up banking services to its wealthy 'premium' personal customers

Commerce Minister Simon Power joining Westpac, heading up banking services to its wealthy 'premium' personal customers

Simon Power.

Commerce and Justice Minister Simon Power is to join Westpac New Zealand as head of its private bank in January.

Westpac says Power, who is quitting politics at the November 26 election, will bring a range of skills and experience to the position that fitted well with the purpose and focus of its private bank, which provides relationship banking services to premium - wealthy - personal customers.

“We are enormously excited to be joined by someone with such an outstanding record of leadership and achievement at the highest level," Westpac NZ CEO George Frazis says.

Meanwhile, Westpac quotes Power saying he's looking forward to a new challenge and a new environment.

“This is the beginning of a new and exciting chapter in my career," says Power. "One of my objectives after leaving Parliament is to contribute to the growth of New Zealand in the private sector and I feel that with my experience in working with and implementing change I can do that."

Power, 41, will join Westpac in January next year after 12 years as the Member of Parliament for Rangitikei and the past three as a Cabinet Minister.

Westpac Private Bank's website says membership is at the discretion of Westpac and typically requires a household income of NZ$250,000 and more than NZ$1 million in assets, excluding the customer's home.

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28 Comments

how exciting - can he power up to match the 6 million dollars  p.a man ?

This is disgusting, the guy who sets up the system supposedly to regulate the banks, goes and works as an insider for the banks.  Our country is run by bankers for bankers.

Is your contention that public servants and politicians should only be allowed to seek employment in areas where they have no experience, no expertise and know nobody?

Well as politicians and bureaucrats they work in areas where they have no experience and no expertise: look at the last umpteen finance and revenue ministers, including the current chumps. And the labour guy who wants finance, snort, has only read Keynesian Spending 101, and doesn't even realise that Europe and the US are going bankrupt because that's all the policitians there read also  ;)

It'd be funny if they hadn't created a Gulag of Good Intentions for free men in the process.

It is an inevitable consequence of our parliamentary system that the Prime Minister has to make his choice of ministerial appointments from among a field of candidates who are good at winning democratic elections, not candidates who have the qualifications necessary to be good Ministers.

I would have thought that the libertarian position would be that there should not be a Commerce Minister at all, so Tribeless presumably wouldn't approve of him or her even if s/he were a Nobel prize winning economist, had a doctorate in competition law and had built up a hugely successful high-tech export business from nothing, all by the age of 27.

How though do the rest of us square the circle?  Do we think people should be able to be appointed Ministers on the basis of their professional competence, without having to put themselves to democratic vote?  Who should appoint them?

Let's pretend just for a minute that these interchangeable parts have the interest of NZ at heart shall we....Oh wait we don't know that. and history will show that they do not, so no, this is not something which should be encouraged. It begs a shedload of questions !

What could go wrong?

Another banker with a wealth of inexperience.

I guess George Frazis has been watching Scarface .... "First you get the money, then you get the Power"

So: We have a banker trying to be a politician, and a politician trying to be a banker?!

He's a smart cookie.. 

This is way better than a diplomatic posting to somewhere exotic (like most retired ministers do).  It'll be a 7 figure salary.  Can't blame him really.  Beside politicians have no moral (and this incl. the Greens)

"There is no corruption in New Zealand..."

With that line, you could remake that song from the 80s 'there's no depression in New Zealand.'

Hey parky...hope you are paying very close attention to the mess in China caused by the pollies over there being in charge of the printing of credit to build all the infrastructure....!!!!

Iain, I have not read this yet but it looks like something of interest to you.

http://www.er.ethz.ch/publications/MAS_Thesis_Marina_Stoop_2010_final.pdf

Jeez parky...do you spout that stuff at the breakfast table.?..

... we already have interest-free munny , but you've gotta be a student to get it ...

Meebee Michael Cullen was ahead of his time , after all .

.. he's a banker now , isn't he ? .... I like bankers . Matter of fact , damn near all of us here at interest.co.nz reckon bankers to be brilliant . Wonderful to get munny wot ain't your's , and to put a roof over the families head . Bankers should get knighthoods , every single one of them .

So it's corrupt and immoral for a person who's worked in Government, to seek to make use of their experience and contacts when looking for new employment; they're allowed to look for employment only in areas where they know nothing and nobody. 

Why?  What other profession contains such restrictions?

The clear message for competent, ambitious people with aspirations for a rewarding and varied career enabling them to support themselves and their families, is that unless they intend to stay in public service for ever, they should not go into it in the first place, for the experience they gain there will be unusable in pursuit of subsequent career moves.

Is this really what we want - Governments populated only by people who intend to spend their whole lives in politics, or who don't have any aspirations?

The argument has two sides to it  MdM...and you know it...why shouldn't NZ politicians be barred from any employment association with banks when they retire or are defeated...as long as the rule is up front to begin with...then it's a decision by the person to become a politician. What's so wrong with that !

Where does it say that politicians should be barred from any employment association with banks?  The contention is that they shouldn't be allowed to seek employment anywhere where they haverecent  experience or contacts.

What's wrong with it is that it means that once you're in politics, it's hard to get out of it into anything where you have any likelihood of doing well - and so it is likely to discourage competent, ambitious people from going into politics in the first place.

With this rule in place, the only people who will go into politics are those who intend to spend the rest of their career in politics.  I'm not seeing that as a good thing.

Perhaps you have not endured the opening of the NZParliament parky...cos if you did...you would be surprised to hear the Speaker ask some mystical mythical god to make all the bad people go away....

Your "public body" blah blah blah is so much hogwash. It's exactly what Parliament is said to be! or has that not dawned on you yet?

Now get back to work and pay down your mortgage debts.

You are not a romantic fool parky...fool maybe but not romantic! Your "outsiders" are just as likely to become insiders. A "terminal parasite" is what we are...destined to either vanish from the planet, or we will move on to bugger the galaxy.

Stirring stuff there IaIn......I know I'm ready to kill me some Bankers without further provocation.

I believe your crusade is worthwhile provided you negotiate your hurdle before contact with the enemy ...

Apathy Iain ..you will have to fight that first ,and win to have any real hope for change.

Good for you.......I think it's in our nature to be selfish and just as what's in it for me goes ,so too does, what am I missing out on .

Got to wake the apathetic with inducements Iain...the same way you keep em quiet.

You're right about Parky , Count . He would be the perfect Finance Minister for New Zealand . Already said he'd rather die standing up , than kneeling down . So if he screws up , we can organise a firing squad . Brilliant !

 Sorry Iain...must confess I did laugh....brrrhuhum! but now dry pants on. 

Now you know full well GBH you'd rather have him on the team rooting out those who would disinherit you from your fair share...! I bloody know I would......you must have realised by now his interventionist style is spawned from disgust with the Status qou....frustated and rightly so... On a more level playing field  I think you'd find him  a lot more flexible and receptive to Free Market ideology.

The one thing that can't be refuted by the Free Marketeers is that  greed. corruption..elitism..a lack of good governance... and a total failure by International Banking Administrations..to admit...aknowledge..intervene at a reasonable point to avert a global situation they had both the expertise and opportunity to see coming.

I for one still believe that the word Govt. should be replaced more often than not with the word Taxpayers...and further that Taxpayers have every right to expect their representitives to act in their best interests in all manner of fiscal prudence or otherwise.

 This is not the case even in this democracy as succsessive Administrations have show a clear disconnect from the Taxpayers while acting more as an agency for Growth as in the IMF definition  of growth.

 The wellbeingness of this country should return to a measure of  sustainable growth coupled with high productivity and minimal unemployment.

We have instead an organisation that writes policy to suit Monopolistic strategies...believes our future lies in unproductive money hedge industry...imports it's own unemployment.....bets our future on a country with an apalling human rights record because we can look the other way when your lending us money.......and still cling to the notion that debt is wealth.

Come on now Iain your not going to let the Simon Powers of this world just walk away after game fixing are you...?

I'm sure there is a lot more to this story than the head boy deciding politics was not for him.

He is abitious to a ghastly point..and that ambition would have been targeted during his political tenure....

 Something along the lines of ........John Boy..".Now listen up Simey, this politic lark is a mugs game, but if we get you and a coupla others in the right pocket so to speak ,well I mean we all do well won't we my boy"    Now you just listen to your old unca Johnny and when Banky Boy says I've got a proposition for you ..you just say yes right...okay...good boy.!"

Simon..."Righto Uncle Johnny...smash the oiks ra ra ra..!"

I think that's the very job Banksie's got an eye on.....so we trade one goose-stepping control freak for another....it's all about fairness....! Although I'm a little uncomfortable with all Banksie's subordinates having to heil him on cue.........You Dig..! Heil..!

Spare a thought for Billy Bob watching all the young talent pass him by....feeling overlooked  much like he did  in his short  tenure as Captain of the ship.

The anonymous email writer.

Shame he won't be in Parliament to face the question next session.

Cripes Kate I'll bet he don't think so......he'll be looking out the Northern Club windows at the maggot swarm feeding the underbelly while indulging himself  in a quiet smirk  ,a 37 Glenfiddich and  crotch rub........all going rather swimmingly really..