* Wheeler, RBNZ outsider
* World Bank, NZ Treasury background
* Govt must re-sign policy deal, little change forseen
(Adds detail, comment, background)
WELLINGTON, June 26 New Zealand is to appoint an
expatriate former World Bank senior official as its new central
bank governor but does not expect any significant change in
policy, the finance minister said on Tuesday.
Graeme Wheeler, currently a United States-based consultant,
will be the next governor of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand,
replacing Alan Bollard who is stepping down after 10 years.
"Given his experience and standing, combined with his
technical and leadership qualities, the board considered that he
has all the qualities required to become governor and chief
executive of the Reserve Bank," Finance Minister Bill English
said in a statement.
Wheeler, a former senior official in the New Zealand
Treasury and Debt Management Office, worked at the World Bank
for 13 years, and emerged as a late dark-horse contender for the
"Mr Wheeler's extensive experience makes him a highly
respected figure in world financial markets and within New
Zealand," English said.
An analyst said Wheeler had the international experience and
credentials, but likely had some catching up to do on New
"I can imagine he will try, at least in the beginning, to
maintain some continuity in policy," said Deutsche Bank chief
economist Darren Gibbs.
"He will rely on his advisors a lot in the early stages,
particularly in the intricacies of what's happening
The RBNZ has held its cash rate at a record low 2.5 percent
for more than a year with tame inflation pressures and global
uncertainty. It is expected to keep rates on hold until well
into next year.
Before Wheeler takes up the post he and English will have to
agree on a policy targets agreement (PTA), which sets out the
governor's riding instructions for keeping inflation in check
and supporting economic activity.
"The global financial crisis has focused some attention on
monetary policy frameworks, and I want to ensure that the PTA
continues to reflect best international practice," English said,
adding that he did not foresee any major changes.
Wheeler replaces Alan Bollard, who will step down in
September after 10 years.
The RBNZ's current deputy governor Grant Spencer was earlier
touted as a potential successor, as was former RBNZ chief
economist and current NZ Superannuation Fund chief executive,
(Reporting by Gyles Beckford; Editing by Eric Meijer)