The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 6, Issue 2 (June 1, 1931)
Board to Control the Railways — A Directorate of Five Members
Board to Control the Railways
A Directorate of Five Members.
Mr. H. H. Sterling, present General Manager, to become Chairman of the Board.
The personnel of the Government Railways Board, appointed in accordance with legislation passed during the recent emergency session of Parliament, was announced on 9th June, by the Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. G. W. Forbes. The five members are:
Colonel James Jacob Esson, C.M.G., retired Civil Servant, Wellington, the chairman.
Sir James Henry Gunson, C.M.G., O.B.E., merchant, Auckland.
Mr. Edward Newman, C.M.G., farmer, Marton.
Mr. Daniel Reese, merchant, Christchurch.
Mr. George Walter Reid, B. Com., F.P.A. (N.Z.), Accountant, Dunedin.
The appointment of Sir James Gunson and Mr. Reese is for three years, and that of Mr. Newman and Mr. Reid for two years.
Colonel Esson's appointment is only temporary. Mr. H. H. Sterling, General Manager of Railways, retires from his present position in September next to become Chairman of the Board.
Mr. Forbes stated that the Government had endeavoured to make the board representative and to select members who would administer the railways in the spirit in which the legislation had been framed.
The Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. G. W. Forbes, in referring to the changes in administrative control of the Railways which operate from June 1st of this year, said that so far as the chairmanship was concerned there would be an important development in due course, which would involve the retirement of Mr. H. H. Sterling from the position of General Manager of Railways, to enable him to become, ultimately, Chairman of the Board. Under the terms of the Finance Act of 1931 Mr. Sterling would not be eligible for retirement until September 4th next, therefore Colonel Esson had been appointed temporarily to the position of Chairman. In September he would be succeeded by Mr. Sterling.
“The opportunity of utilising the abilities and experience of Mr. Sterling in the wider sphere as chairman of the Railway Board presented itself to the Government,” said Mr. Forbes, “when the General Manager wrote to me in connection with the compulsory retirement of a number of his officers, expressing the desire that he should be included in the review of staff for economy purposes. Mr. Sterling has an agreement regarding his appointment as General Manager, but he placed himself at the Government's disposal, and in so doing he has made a substantial financial sacrifice. The Government recognises Mr. Sterling as an officer of the highest ability, possessing great experience of railway operation and administration, and is pleased that the full value of his judgment will be placed at the country's disposal as chairman of the Railway Board.