Transport Chair Gets Water


Mark Ford, Executive Chairman of the Auckland Transition Agency, will chair Auckland Transport CCO for a year - and go back to Watercare as that company’s chief executive.

Mr Ford will be paid a salary of $630,000 plus a performance bonus of up to 15% for the Watercare job. A statement says that any fees that he receives from his chairmanship of Auckland Transport will be paid to Watercare and that because the decision of the Watercare Board was taken during the transition period it required consideration and confirmation by the Board of the Auckland Transition Agency. But Mark Ford did not take part in any discussion, consideration or confirmation of the Watercare decision.

Mr Ford was previously Chief Executive of Watercare from 1994 to 2009 when he resigned to accept the position of Executive Chairman of the Auckland Transition Agency. That position ends with the establishment of the supercouncil on November 1.

The government has appointed Mr Ford chair of Auckland Transport for one year from November 1. He previously served as Chairman of the Auckland Regional Transport Authority for two years prior to his taking up the Executive Chairman’s role at the ATA.

Mark Ford enjoys Auckland Transport

Mr Graeme Hawkins, Watercare’s chairman, said: “Mark Ford’s skills, knowledge and experience make him uniquely qualified to take the company forward in its new role as a vertically integrated service provider.”

Mr Hawkins said: “The Board was delighted that, when approached as potentially the best person for the position, Mark Ford was prepared to consider a return to Watercare. He has an exceptional knowledge of the water industry in Auckland and has worked with key stakeholders at both the Auckland Transition Agency and in his earlier roles at the highest levels in Auckland’s council-controlled organisations.”

Mr Hawkins said major challenges facing Watercare in the next three years included adjustment to being both a retail service provider and bulk water and wastewater operator; completion of the “Three Waters” environmental programme previously agreed between the existing councils, the Auckland Regional Council and Watercare; the introduction of equitable demand management water conservation techniques; and the development of a fair region-wide wastewater charging system, including that for trade waste.

He said that under Mr Ford’s previous leadership Watercare undertook the $500 million upgrade of the Mangere Wastewater Treatment Plant and associated restoration of Manukau Harbour wetlands and surrounds; commissioning of the Waikato River water pipeline and treatment plant on time and within budget along with resolution of complex resource consent and tangata whenua issues; and commissioning and execution of the Hobson Bay tunnel wastewater project which involved the demolition of the sewerage pipeline across Hobson Bay.

The date of his return to Watercare has yet to be finalised.




  1. karl says:

    Double-dipping much? I am sure his own agency did fully consider the option of not going for their bosses wish when they, an unelected body, appointed him in an unelected way.

    Jeez, what a rort. And what salaries. Why not round everone up to a cool million while they are at it. Supersized salaries for a SuperCity. Ratepayer savings all around!


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