Kris Faafoi to become CEO of the Insurance Council of New Zealand

Former Labour minister Kris Faafoi will become the new chief executive of the Insurance Council of
New Zealand, effective from April 2024.

Tim Grafton, who has led the general insurers' representative body for nearly 12 years, will be replaced by Faafoi on April 7.

Grafton led the ICNZ through major natural catastrophe events including the Canterbury and Kaikoūra earthquakes, major floods, tornadoes, fires and cyclones. 

Faafoi left parliament in 2022 to spend more time with his family. During his political career, he held ministerial portfolios, including broadcasting and media, civil defence, commerce and consumer affairs, customs, government digital services, immigration and justice.

There will be a four-week handover period from early March before Faafoi takes the top job.

"I’m delighted we are able to appoint someone of Kris’s calibre who has a track record of demonstrated leadership, together with extensive experience and understanding of the machinery of government and the financial sector," said the recently appointed ICNZ president Amanda Whiting, also IAG chief executive. 

The appointment follows a challenging year in 2023, including the 2023 Auckland Anniversary weekend and Cyclone Gabrielle, which have led to a surge in claims and a reshaping of the NZ insurance market. 

Insurers have settled 99,798 of 115,353 claims valued at $3.6 billion.  

“I’m looking forward to leading the industry through the next period, focusing on influencing for a sustainable industry, and, more importantly, ensuring that New Zealanders can continue to protect the things they love when disaster strikes," Faafoi said.

New president and vice-president for the Insurance Council of New Zealand

The Insurance Council of New Zealand appointed Amanda Whiting, chief executive of IAG New Zealand, as its new president, with Adam Heath, chief executive of Farmers Mutual Group, becoming its new vice president.

The duo joins a new-look leadership team, with former cabinet minister Kris Faafoi set to become CEO of the insurer body in April.

Whiting said: "I feel honoured to have the confidence of my fellow board members to take up this leadership role for general insurers and look forward to working with Adam to ensure New Zealanders continue to enjoy the strong protection our sector provides.”

Whiting replaces Toni Ferrier as president. 

Ferrier stepped down from the role as she has moved to become country manager for Marsh McLennan which is not an ICNZ member. 

Whiting was ICNZ’s immediate vice-president and Adam Heath was appointed vice-president by the ICNZ Board.

"I want to acknowledge the valuable contribution Toni Ferrier made during her term as president and wish her success in her new role," Whiting added.


March 2024

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