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National Party ‘appalled’ Reserve Bank Governor Adrian Orr given another five-year term

National leader Christopher Luxon on the re-appointment of Reserve Bank governor Adrian Orr. Video / Mark Mitchell

Reserve Bank governor Adrian Orr has been re-appointed to the role for another five-year term.

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Grant Robertson announced this morning the Reserve Bank’s board had made a unanimous recommendation to give Orr another term, effective from March 27 next year.

The National Party’s finance spokesperson Nicola Willis said the party was “appalled” by the decision.

“We urged the Government to conduct an independent review of the bank’s performance before endorsing the governor for another five years,” she said.

“Re-appointing him without first completing such an inquiry is a serious mistake.

“New Zealanders suffering through a cost of living crisis deserve more than a cozy re-appointment process with no accountability.”

It comes following calls from the National Party for Orr to be given a 12-month extension to his term, allowing it to appoint a governor should it win the election next year.

“The Reserve Bank has been undergoing a considerable period of change since Adrian’s appointment in 2018,” Robertson said in today’s announcement.

“The Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act 2021 came into force in July this year and has changed how the bank operates and is governed. This has led to considerable change in the bank’s strategy, people and culture.

“As the governor, Mr Orr has been instrumental in leading this change and his reappointment will allow him to carry on and ensure these changes are bedded in.”

Robertson noted how current global conditions meant “stability and continuity” were paramount for the Reserve Bank.

“Under the Reserve Bank Act, the bank’s main objectives are to achieve and maintain stability in the general level of prices over the medium term, support maximum sustainable employment, protect and promote the stability of New Zealand’s financial system.

“Adrian has demonstrated the skills, knowledge and experience to help steer the financial system through the 1-in-100 year economic shock of the pandemic. I am happy to endorse the recommendation of the board.

“I have full confidence that he will continue to display the same integrity and leadership in performing his duties as Governor in what is still a challenging environment.”

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