Boult bolts from City Care chair

ALAN WOOD
Last updated 05:00 30/01/2014

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City-owned City Care's new chairman Jim Boult is stepping down less than two months after his appointment.

Boult, the former chief executive of Christchurch Airport, was appointed a director in October and chairman of City Care in early December.

Boult said he was stepping down from the chairmanship because the company with whom he had accepted a position was in competition in some part with City Care.

City Care's main role is to maintain civic facilities, roads, sewer and water operations and networks and parks and recreational areas. It does that for the Christchurch City Council which owns it and for other councils round the country.

Last year City Care expanded into building commercial buildings, doing residential earthquake repairs and offering tree cutting services to households.

The Press asked Boult why he had accepted the appointment to chair City Care when it was clear he was looking for a challenging position after leaving Christchurch Airport at the end of December.

"That is simple to answer," Boult said. "The opportunity I have accepted only arose post Christmas-New Year".

"I didn't anticipate I would be offered a position in an industry I have been offered a position in, which has some elements, I guess, in competition with what City Care undertakes. If I had known I was going to take a position that I couldn't last in I most certainly wouldn't have accepted it," Boult said.

"There are potential conflicts between that role and the City Care role. So for the protection of both organisations I really felt I had no choice but to resign the City Care position."

Boult said he could not reveal the position he had accepted or with which company. It would make an announcement in February.

It was a national company with parts of its business offshore.

"My responsibility will be not only Christchurch but other parts of this business as well."

Boult said it was likely he would remain based at his home near Queenstown and fly around the country to fulfil the board and management position.

Earthquake Minister Gerry Brownlee questioned the worth of City Care to ratepayers last week saying the company ate up a huge amount of capital.

City Care deputy chairman Hugh Martyn will take up the chairmanship in the interim.

Boult is a former director and deputy chairman of Tourism New Zealand and has been director and chairman of several substantial public and private companies.

He was on the 1997 NBR Rich List with an estimated $15 million wealth, but has not been on more recent lists. He was Shotover Jet managing director from 1986 to 2001, and a shareholder in that company.

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