Hamish Rutherford at Stuff reports:
A former top international banker, who stared down the Beehive with lending restrictions and official cash rates rises months from the election, is this year’s public sector chief executive of the year.
Graeme Wheeler, who became Reserve Bank governor in late 2012, was today named as the top public sector boss in political newsletter Trans Tasman’s fifth Annual Briefing Report.
Since replacing Alan Bollard, Wheeler has introduced controversial loan to value ratio limits on mortgages in an attempt to cool the housing market and raised the OCR twice this year.
Both moves were politically unpopular, but Trans Tasman said the ‘‘fresh ideas’’ made him chief executive of the year and the Reserve Bank’s best governor since Don Brash – a dig at Bollard, whose decade in charge was bookended by Brash and Wheeler.
‘‘He’s made some gutsy calls and stood up to the political pressure not to interfere in the iconic quarter acre dream,’’ the report said of Wheeler.
‘‘A courageous governor – and we will find out over the next year or so whether he made the right calls.’’
The awards were chosen by a 16-strong independent board of advisers.
Inland Revenue was named department of the year because of a ‘‘clear improvement in customer engagement’’ over the past 12 months.
‘‘One of the only departments leading the charge online for better customer and business interactions,’’ Trans Tasman said.
‘‘It is no longer just a compliance agency. It is also being seen by the public as a crusader which goes after people who try to avoid their tax obligations.’’
As with previous years, I’m one of the 16 advisors. The release from Trans-Tasman is here.
As an employer, I have to say dealing with the IRD is so much easier than years ago. No more waiting on hold – just send secure mail. Can check my account balances instantly, and lots of useful calculators.
The Reserve Bank Governor should be fiercely independent. It is a tribute to Wheeler that he listened politely to the Government wanting to exempt first home buyers from the LVRs, but then decided it wouldn’t work with that exemption and proceeded. It is unfortunate that Labour has vowed to over-turn that independent decision should they win Government.