By Chris Hutching
Friday 7th March 2003
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The new chief executive, Peter Davie, will be returning to his home town when he takes over the job in late April after spending the past six years in various port management positions in Australia including the managing directorship of Australia's deep-water Port of Portland, located about halfway between Melbourne and Adelaide, where he was appointed in 1996 to take the company forward after it was sold to private interests for $30 million.
Portland is now ultimately owned by Utilities Trust of Australia and publicly listed Australia Infrastructure Fund, both managed by Hastings Funds Management.
Since 2000 Mr Davie has worked concurrently as managing director of Tasman Port Management, an Australian company that works with infrastructure investors developing port investments throughout Australia and New Zealand, and was a director of CSX World Terminals operations in Adelaide and Brisbane.
Lyttelton Port chairman Barney Sundstrum said the board was impressed by the way Mr Davies had successfully restructured labour relations at Portland bringing a "common touch," having personally led the negotiations with "a very tough" Australian union.
His skills are in demand at Lyttelton where industrial relations have simmered over the past three years and were only resolved last week with a $3 million provision in the company's accounts for a negotiated settlement including redundancies.
Mr Davie's appointment marks a return to his roots, having worked for the port from 1984-1996 as operations manager and marketing manager.
He was born in Christchurch and has a master of commerce in international marketing and business policy from the University of Canterbury.
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