Boys calls it quits after 13 years as Port's chief

ALEXIA JOHNSTON
Last updated 05:00 17/06/2014

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PrimePort chief executive Jeremy Boys has resigned after 13 years in the role.

The move comes just 10 days after he announced that 16 positions were potentially being disestablished at the port, but a similar number of positions created.

Boys, who said his move was for positive reasons, has no plans for the future yet.

"That will no doubt evolve in due course," he said. "After 13 years I think it's time I refresh a little bit."

He said his decision to stand down had not been an easy one.

"I think it's been a pretty good ship and a great time. It [is] an ideal time to let someone new guide the port through a very exciting period ahead and a strong future, assured by the alignment with the Port of Tauranga."

Boys, who has given three months' notice, said everyone could take pride in what had been achieved.

PrimePort Ltd chairman Roger Gower said a key focus for the company was to fill Boys' position before recruiting for a newly established role of commercial manager. He said news of Boys' resignation was understandable, but disappointing.

"We're always disappointed when somebody of Jeremy's calibre resigns, [but] we understand his reasons and are very accepting of that." He said Boys had made the decision to leave on his own terms.

Timaru District Holdings Ltd (TDHL) chairman Damon Odey said Boys had served PrimePort well.

"I think he's walking away with pretty big challenges put to bed and [has] set the port up nicely."

Last year, the Port of Tauranga invested $21.6 million in a 50 per cent share in PrimePort Timaru and will lease the container terminal for up to 35 years. TDHL now owns 50 per cent of PrimePort, after Port of Tauranga bought 21 per cent of TDHL's stake and the remaining 29 per cent, previously held by a private consortium.

"It's 13 years since Jeremy's been chief executive down there and he's played a vital role with where we've got to now with the Port of Tauranga deal - that was a massive undertaking. [He has] set [the port] up in great stead going forward."

Rail and Maritime Transport Union South Island organiser John Kerr was in talks with staff yesterday. The union is working through a range of issues and is also considering proceedings with the Employment Relations Authority, in relation to the latest restructuring process, announced earlier this month. He said the workers have undergone three restructures in four years, with some of the workers having to repeatedly reapply for jobs.

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