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New commissioner not what you'd expect

Tuesday, March 18th 2003, 6:30AM

by Sue Allen

What pops into your head when you think about saving for your retirement? Grey-haired men in grey suits talking about sensible investments? Well, try thinking blonde hair, boogie boarding and a self-professed lack of interest in money.

Sounds an unlikely description for the newly-appointed Retirement Commissioner, but Diana Crossan is not necessarily what one would expect from the person in charge of getting New Zealanders to start saving.

But, in some ways, she thinks it might be just these qualities which make her more in touch with the average Kiwi.

"All I’m saying is that I am not that interested in money. All I want is to have enough and to save and I think that makes me a lot like the people we are trying to reach."

Unlike the average Kiwi, however, she also has a background in senior management, policy advice, strategic thinking and in insurance, savings and investment.

All a long way from the girl who grew up in Southland and, after reading a book about English prison reformer Elizabeth Fry, wanted to be a social worker. In fact, she became a probation officer.

"I thought I would be a probation officer for the rest of my life. It was a fantastic place to get a range of skills and to develop the ability to switch from one thing to another very quickly.

After that, there were senior management and policy roles at the Ministry of Education, Department of Justice and as part of the project development team responsible for restructuring the country’s electricity providers from a nationalised industry to state-owned enterprise.

She has also had a life-long commitment to voluntary work and still sits on a number of boards, as well as working part time with an organisation helping people save for their children’s education.

However, her trump card in taking on the role as Retirement Commissioner must be the experience she gained at financial services company, AMP – something which almost did not happen. [MORE]

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Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
AIA - Back My Build 6.19 - - -
AIA - Go Home Loans 8.74 7.45 7.05 6.85
ANZ 8.64 7.99 7.49 7.35
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BNZ - Mortgage One 8.69 - - -
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CFML Loans 9.45 - - -
China Construction Bank - 7.09 6.75 6.49
China Construction Bank Special - - - -
Co-operative Bank - First Home Special - 7.15 - -
Co-operative Bank - Owner Occ 8.40 7.35 6.89 6.75
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
Co-operative Bank - Standard 8.40 7.85 7.39 7.25
Credit Union Auckland 7.70 - - -
First Credit Union Special - 7.45 7.35 -
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Heretaunga Building Society 8.90 7.60 7.40 -
HSBC Premier 8.59 - - -
HSBC Premier LVR > 80% - - - -
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ICBC 7.85 7.05 6.85 6.59
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Kainga Ora - First Home Buyer Special - - - -
Kiwibank 8.50 8.35 7.89 7.65
Kiwibank - Offset 8.50 - - -
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Resimac - Specialist Clear (Alt Doc) - - 8.99 -
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Median 8.64 7.45 7.37 6.77

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