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Lyttelton chairman resigns


Friday 18th October 2002

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The Lyttelton Port Company has a new chairman after embattled incumbent Brent Layton resigned this morning.

The new chairman is another port company director and Christchurch businessman, Barney Sundstrum.

Dr Layton was told by Christchurch City Holdings Ltd (CCHL), the Christchurch City Council company that owns two-thirds of the port company, to stand down because of concerns about the company's impasse with unions over a round-the-clock container terminal schedule.

A board meeting has been called for this morning, and Mr Sundstrum had been widely tipped to take over the top job.

A statement this morning said Dr Layton would also step down as a director when a temporary appointment was made to the board. A permanent appointment would be made at the company's annual meeting in October next year.

Mr Sundstrum is currently chairman of Christchurch property finance business Avon Investments and a shareholder in the Loaded Hog pub chain. He has six other directorships as well as his LPC role.

Dr Layton revealed that CCHL had originally given him 24 hours to resign or it would call a special shareholders meeting to have him thrown off the board.

Instead of accepting the backroom ultimatum, Dr Layton went public with claims that CCHL's lack of support had ruined attempts to solve the port's protracted labour negotiations.

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