New advisory council for Financial Dispute Resolution Service

Chair of the newly formed Advisory Council for the Financial Dispute Resolution Service(FDRS), Stephen Ward, is pleased to announce a very strong council, comprising members who bring substantial wisdom and experience in the financial services sector.

The FDRS Advisory Council is an independent panel charged with advising scheme owners and operators, FairWay Resolution, on the functionality and operation of the scheme, considering recommendations from the scheme on matters relating to systemic issues, membership, compliance, consumer interests and convening interest forums and reviews.

At its inaugural meeting the Council endorsed FairWay’s intent to provide the best value, most accessible dispute resolution scheme in the finance sector, with the aim of helping its members build customer advocacy and loyalty, and business efficiencies through best practice conflict management techniques, which will, in turn benefit consumers.

Terms of Reference for the Advisory Council and Rules of the Scheme can be found at

The Advisory Council members are:

Stephen Ward, Independent Chair. Senior Partner, Simpson Grierson.

Stephen is a partner in the corporate and commercial department. He advises corporations and crown entities on all aspects of corporate governance, statutory compliance, companies law, mergers and acquisitions, overseas investment in New Zealand, and related issues. He regularly works with many of the firm's clients on strategic issues and business development initiatives.

Stephen also has more than 20 years' experience establishing, managing, amalgamating, and winding up life and general insurance companies, superannuation schemes, KiwiSaver schemes, and other investment vehicles.

He is a member of the Institute of Directors and sits on a number of boards.

Dr Pushpa Wood, Consumer Representative. Director of Massey University’s Financial Education and Research Centre.

Dr Wood’s current position involves working across the education sector, industry training including community education and vocational education, finance sectors and various government agencies including but not limited to Ministry of Education, Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs, Families Commission and Te Puni Kokiri. Dr Wood has previously worked for the Commission for Financial Literacy and Retirement Income as an Education Manager, which involved working across the school sector, tertiary sector, industry training including community education and vocational education. 

Bill Bevan, Consumer Representative. ACA; LLB. Founding director of Kapimana Legal Services Limited, trading as Gault Bevan Law.

Founding member, Consumer Advocate and Managing Solicitor, Whitireia Community Law Centre, Porirua. In 2006, Bill received the Porirua Community Award for services to the community, and in 2011 the Queens Service Medal. He was the inaugural chair and consumer representative on the Telecommunications Disputes Resolution Council for 5 years. 

Justin Kerr, Industry Representative. BCA Economics VUW; DipBank, Massey. Senior Fellow Financial Services Institute of Australasia.

Justin is Chief Executive Officer of the Retail Credit Association of New Zealand Inc. and formerly held positions as the Executive Director, Financial Services Federations Inc; Executive Office and Director, Commerce Commission and previously worked in a sharebroking and a finance company. 

David Whyte, Industry Representative. M.A. (Hons). M.Mgt. 

David is the Managing Director of DCW Management Limited, and was a board Member and Non-Executive Director of Southern Response Earthquake Services Limited. David was previously Chief Executive Officer of the Ginger Group of financial advisers and was responsible for developing the original network of founding independent advisers for Sovereign. He has also been a director of Fidelity Life, and in the 1990’s, he was manager of AIA–NZ and Managing director of AIG Life in Australia. He has served on the board of the ISI, the Ombudsman’s Board, and on the risk committee of IFSA in Australia.