PORTS of Auckland CEO Tony Gibson will step down in his role at the port at the end of next month.

The announcement comes after a damning report on safety at the port was released earlier this year. POAL said it fully supported the report’s findings, but the Maritime Union of New Zealand to called for Mr Gibson’s resignation.

POAL commissioned the report following two fatal accidents at the port since 2018. In one accident, on 30 August 2020, a port worker was crushed by a container during cargo operations.

Mr Gibson said resigning had been a “difficult” decision.

“Over the last few months there have been persistent and sometimes personal attacks on me as CEO,” he said.

“I feel that this focus on me is damaging to the company and to the great people that I work with. It is taking our focus off what is really important – delivering change. I can’t let that continue, so for the sake of our people and the good work that they do, I have decided to step down.”

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Ports of Auckland Board chair Bill Osborne said Mr Gibson had been transformational for the ports over the past 10 years.

“His vision, drive, skills, and leadership have been essential in delivering the change that was desperately needed when he started in 2011,” Mr Osborne said.

“I am sad to lose someone of his calibre, especially at a time when the company is again going through major change. However, I understand and accept his reasons and wish him well.”

Deputy CEO and CFO Wayne Thompson will be interim CEO until a new CEO is appointed.

Meanwhile, MUNZ said Mr Gibson’s resignation was the “right outcome”.

MUNZ national secretary Craig Harrison said the union is prepared to work with new management. He also said he hoped new management would have a “more modern, consensus-based approach”.

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