New Zealand is about to get a new central bank chief

RBNZ governor Graeme Wheeler. Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images.

First it was the prime minister, and now New Zealand (RBNZ) is about to get a new central bank governor.

Graeme Wheeler, the RBNZ’s current governor, announced on Tuesday that he would not seek a second five-year term when his current appointment ends on September 26.

“It has been a great privilege to serve in this role, and in the remaining eight months I will remain fully focused on the economic challenges and opportunities facing the New Zealand economy,” said Wheeler in a statement released by the RBNZ. “It was my intention, when I was appointed, to serve one term, and then to take on governance roles.”

Wheeler will vacate the post just three days after the New Zealand general election on September 23.

Given the proximity to the election, Steven Joyce, New Zealand’s finance minister, has announced that Grant Spencer will be appointed as acting governor for a period of six months on the conclusion of Mr Wheeler’s term.

Spencer, the RBNZ’s current deputy governor and head of financial stability, had indicated his intention to retire this year but has agreed to defer in order to fill the acting role, the RBNZ said.

The RBNZ Board’s said the search for a successor to Wheeler will commence later in the year.

The RBNZ will hold its first monetary policy meeting of 2017 on Thursday, February 9. No change in policy is expected.

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