Leading lawyers tapped for inaugural New Zealand Infrastructure Commission board

by Sol Dolor23 Aug 2019

Two top lawyers are among the first members of the board of the newly established New Zealand Infrastructure Commission, Te Waihanga.

Sarah Sinclair, MinterEllisonRuddWatts chair and partner, and David Cochrane, Simpson Grierson special counsel, were among the members of the inaugural board announced by Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones on Wednesday at the annual Building Nations symposium in Rotorua.

The board is headed by Dr Alan Bollard and Jon Grayson, who have been named chair and chief executive, respectively. Bollard, now a professor of practice at Victoria University of Wellington, is the former governor of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand. Grayson is currently deputy secretary commercial and financial at the New Zealand Treasury. Other members of the board are Raven Jaduram, Watercare Services chief executive; Stephen Selwood, Infrastructure New Zealand chief executive; and Suzanne Tindal, a banker and chief financial officer with extensive experienced in the domestic and global markets.

MinterEllisonRuddWatts chief executive Andrew Poole said that Sinclair’s appointment is excellent and well-deserved recognition of the senior lawyer’s standing in New Zealand’s infrastructure and wider governance community.

“I am absolutely delighted. Sarah’s leadership, legal skill and astute business sense will be of great benefit to the New Zealand Infrastructure Commission, Te Waihanga as it establishes itself and sets the country’s long-term plan to address infrastructure needs,” Poole said.

Sinclair is a senior partner with the firm’s construction team. She has extensive experience acting for both government and private sector clients in large-scale, complex infrastructure projects.

The commission has been tasked with two overarching functions: strategy and planning and delivery support for infrastructure in the country. It has been established after the government earmarked in the New Zealand Budget 2019 a record $41bn for infrastructure projects in the next five years.

Simpson Grierson said that the firm is pleased to congratulate Cochrane on his appointment. Cochrane, who joined the firm in 2011 after years as a public law senior partner at Chapman Tripp, has over 40 years’ experience in central government and private practice, including drafting law in New Zealand and overseas. He has advised on the implementation of government policy in local government, transport, government administration, primary industry and health, Simpson Grierson said.