THE chief executive of New Zealand railway KiwiRail, Mr Greg Miller, has resigned, effective immediately, KiwiRail board acting chair, Ms Sue McCormack, has announced.

McCormack says Miller advised that recent and sustained allegations in the media, which he has rejected, have become such a distraction that he has decided that it was in the best interest of him, his family and KiwiRail to step down.

The board of KiwiRail earlier this month hired an independent interviewer to conduct exit interviews with around 20 former staff who resigned under Miller’s leadership. This included chief operating officer and deputy chief executive, Mr Todd Moyle, chief corporate affairs officer, Mr Usman Pervaiz and head of HR, Mr Andrew Norton.

McCormack says Moyle has now been appointed as acting chief executive while a search is launched for a permanent replacement. Miller was appointed chair of the board in August 2018, and was appointed as chief executive in May 2019, replacing Moyle who was acting chief executive following the resignation of Mr Peter Reidy in October 2018.

“I have accepted [Mr Miller’s] resignation and on behalf of the board, I thank him for his service to KiwiRail as chair and subsequently as group chief executive during a time of growth and unprecedented government support,” McCormack says. “The period included the revitalisation of rail in Northland, the re-opening of the Wairoa - Napier line, significant capital projects nationally, and the project to introduce two brand-new Interislander ferries.”

Miller says he is proud to have led KiwiRail through a transformational period, including improved safety leadership.

“Historically the company has been under-resourced and, with government support, I have been redressing that deficit,” he says. “The workshop rebuild programme including planned wagon assembly at Hilllside, and 67 new locomotives on order for the South Island, are all part of ensuring KiwiRail is on a strong footing for the future, and able to contribute to helping New Zealand reach its emissions reduction targets.”

“The board will immediately begin a search for a permanent replacement for Mr Miller but until then I know KiwiRail is in a safe and trusted pair of hands with Mr Moyle,” McCormack says. “As acting chair, I take seriously the safety of all KiwiRail’s 4300 staff. I am also personally committed to ensuring that KiwiRail provides workplaces where all of our people can thrive. I will work closely with Mr Moyle to ensure these priorities are demonstrated throughout the company’s many workplaces.”