- About COMU
- Board Appointments
- Ownership Framework
Page updated 22 August 2013
The Crown Ownership Monitoring Unit (COMU) is a unit within the Treasury which has three advisory teams. Since September 2011 the Commercial Transactions Group has operated as a separate portfolio within the Treasury.
- Appointments and Governance team – This team supports and provides advice to the Ministers on appointments of boards and governance issues, and also provides targeted professional development opportunities.
- Sector Monitoring teams – These teams monitor a range of entities and provide advice to Ministers.
All of COMU’s teams work together to provide advice and support to government agencies who monitor Crown-owned entities, in particular those that have a high impact on the balance sheet due to the value of assets they hold or expenditure they administer, or that carry a high degree of risk and importance in relation to government priorities.
COMU Key Personnel
Andrew TurnerDeputy Secretary | Crown Ownership Monitoring Unit
Tel: +64 4 917 6031
Andrew joined COMU in September 2011 from The Treasury’s New Zealand Debt Management Office (NZDMO). The NZDMO is responsible for managing the Crown’s debt, overall net cashflow and interest-bearing assets. The Office also provides advisory and transactional services across a wide variety of government agencies. From 1991 Andrew held a variety of roles within the Office including treasury accounting, managing domestic debt issuance and foreign-currency portfolio management. He was appointed as head of the group portfolio managment in 2002.
Prior to joining the NZDMO Andrew was treasury accountant at the Electricity Corporation of New Zealand. Andrew has a Bachelor of Commerce and Administration from Victoria University and is a member of the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants.
James CunninghamManager | COMU Monitoring - Commercial
Tel: +64 4 890 7222
James joined the Crown Company Monitoring Advisory Unit (CCMAU), COMU’s predecessor, in 1996 and was initially involved in the monitoring of hospitals. He managed the Health Monitoring Group until this group was transferred to the Ministry of Health in 2000. He then became a Senior Advisor in the SOE team and was Manager of the CCMAU Communications, Services & Infrastructure team between 2003 and 2009. Since moving into Treasury, James has also spent some time on secondment to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
James is a Chartered Accountant and began his career at BDO Hogg Young Cathie in 1989. He then lived and worked in the United Kingdom where he had various contract jobs in the banking, machinery and health industries. He has a Bachelor of Commerce and Administration from Victoria University of Wellington.
David SnellEstablishment Manager | COMU Monitoring - Multiple Objective
Tel: +64 4 917 6065
David joined COMU in March 2011 from the Treasury’s State Sector Strategy team. Prior to that, he spent 10 years as a principal advisor in Treasury’s tax strategy team, advising on issues such as the controlled foreign company rules, imputation, business taxation and GST. In the past, he was employed by accountants Ernst & Young as a senior tax manager and previously held tax and auditing roles in the United Kingdom.
David is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales and holds a Masters in Public Administration and a Graduate Diploma in International Tax Policy from Harvard University.
Steve RichManager | Appointments and Governance
Tel: +64 4 890 7268
Steve was appointed Manager Appointments and Governance in 2004, having initially joined the Crown Company Monitoring Advisory Unit in 2001 as a senior advisor. The Appointments and Governance team is responsible for the operational aspects of the appointment and governance processes, including managing board succession for Ministers, board remuneration setting, COMU’s governance training programme and setting portfolio governance expectations.
Steve previously worked for the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) where he supported organisational governance, disputes resolution and performance in service delivery. He was Corporate Secretary of the ACC subsidiary company, Catalyst Insurer Services Ltd, that was established when the workers compensation market was privatised (1999 – 2000).
Commercial Transactions Key Personnel
- Commercial Transactions – This Group includes the team working on extending the mixed ownership model (subject to decisions by the next Government) as well as other commercial issues, including the Retail Deposit Guarantee Scheme, the Wholesale Funding Guarantee Facility and the AMI Crown Support Agreement.
John CrawfordDeputy Secretary | Commercial Transactions
Tel: +64 4 917 6251
John joined the Treasury in February 2010 from the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, where he was the lead policy advisor on economic policy areas that included transport, energy, infrastructure and economic development. His career has included stints at NZ Trade and Enterprise where he was Regional Director Auspac; at Investment NZ where he established an Australian presence for the agency; and at Deutsche Bank AG where he was a Vice-President Global Investment Banking. He has also worked for the Boston Consulting Group in Australasia and Europe, and spent most of his early career in engineering and IT management roles.
He has undergraduate degrees in Science and Engineering and an MBA from Auckland University.
Andrew BlazeyManager | Commercial Transactions
Tel: +64 4 917 6985
Currently on study leave in Hong Kong. Andrew will return to the Treasury in 2014. Andrew joined the Treasury in 1997 and has worked on tax, international economics and defence issues. He was the lead negotiator on investment matters for the free trade agreements with Thailand, Chile and Singapore. He was posted to Washington DC for two years as New Zealand’s representative at the International Monetary Fund. More recently, Andrew has worked as the Advisor to the Secretary and was seconded to the Ministry of Justice as the Acting General Manager of Sector Strategy.
He has a Bachelor of Management Studies (Honours) from the University of Waikato.
Brian McCullochDirector | Commercial Transactions
Tel: +64 4 917 6077
Dr McCulloch has held leadership roles across a range of portfolios in The Treasury for over twenty years, dealing mainly with commercial, financial policy, international and public governance issues. Brian has a PhD from the University of Washington (Foster School of Business) and a Bachelor of Commerce and Administration with Honours from Victoria University of Wellington. He is a Fellow Chartered Accountant and he has previously worked with predecessor firms of Deloitte and PwC, and with Victoria University’s School of Accountancy and Commercial Law.