John Waller, 1952-2016

The news that former chairman John Waller had passed away last night was received with great sadness by people at BNZ, CEO Anthony Healy said today.

“John’s business career was an outstanding one. It was characterised by the exercise of a brilliant mind, achievement and influence, often during the most challenging of times,” said Mr Healy.

John Waller served the BNZ and NAB board eight years. He joined the bank’s board in 2008, taking up the role of chairman later in that year.

“Some observers might say John’s timing was impeccable – with the judgement to match,” said Mr Healy.

“As an expert in managing business insolvencies, he arrived at the BNZ just as the global financial crisis was taking hold – bringing with it the prospect of insolvency for the world’s financial system as a whole.

“John’s judgement and experience guided our company through the GFC and helped us to make the right decisions for our customers.

“He was rightly proud of the fact that at the height of the crisis BNZ lent more money to New Zealand businesses than all of our competitors combined.

“Throughout his time at BNZ, John was immensely generous with his time. He mentored and influenced many people, including two CEOs. He was a role model to so many of us.

“I enjoyed John’s unstinting support from the time I was appointed CEO and I know how much I benefitted from his counsel and guidance on many issues.”

Anthony Healy said that John Waller had many interests and passions.

“There was his family, of course, and also his role as chair of the Eden Park Trust board during the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

“Eden Park was the stage for a memorable, if nerve-wracking, All Blacks triumph on 23 October 2011. I’ll always remember the emotion etched on John’s face that night as he cheered on his team.

“John’s battle with prolonged ill-health was faced with the same fortitude and courage he demonstrated throughout his business career.

“John Waller was a good man. The many BNZ people he worked with and influenced will miss him greatly, and we extend our collective sympathies to his wife, Jinny, and their family.

“Rest in peace, John.”