CLT chairman defends move
The community will not lose anything from proposed changes to the Central Lakes Trust board structure, but gain expertise and knowledge, the board chair says.
Dr Malcolm Macpherson said the proposal the board was taking to the community was ‘‘the best of both worlds – community representation, plus expert advice, making the best possible decisions’’.
He was responding to criticisms raised by former chair Peter Mead, who has called the proposed changes a ‘‘callous attack on the very core of democracy’’ and the role of the board was one of oversight only.
Currently, the trust was wholly made up of six publicly elected trustees standing for a maximum of three terms of three years. The proposed changes include appointing three trustees, whose terms would be staggered, alongside five publicly elected trustees.
‘‘Today’s Central Lakes Trust is quite different to the trust chaired by Peter Mead all those years ago. We can’t be hands-off managers, leaving key strategic investment decisions to others, as Peter seems to suggest we should. Nor should we back away from our ownership responsibilities for Pioneer Energy Ltd.
‘‘Central Lakes Trust has grown to become the largest philanthropic trust fund on a per capita basis in the Southern Hemisphere. The total value of the trust’s investment fund has grown to more than $325 million and is expected to grow to $500 million by 2025. Over time, the diversification, scale and complexity of the trust’s investment portfolio has intensified, and we increasingly need trustees who can bring appropriate expertise to our decision making and greater continuity at governance-level. The investment environment is dynamic and complex and as guardians of these investments, trustees need to exercise wellinformed and active judgment.’’
Feedback, including from previous trustees and community leaders, had been overwhelmingly positive, he said.
Boardworks International undertook the review and made recommendations based on international best practice for how the board could improve its current governance arrangements to fill skill and knowledge gaps and ensure greater succession planning.