Former National MP Simon Bridges announced as new CEO of Auckland Chamber of Commerce

Bridge will take over at the Chamber in August.
Bridge will take over at the Chamber in August. Photo credit: Image - Getty Images

The Auckland Chamber of Commerce will soon have a new CEO - former National MP Simon Bridges. 

The current chief executive Michael Barnett told Newshub that after more than 25 years, his time at the business advocacy group has come to an end. 

In a statement, the Chamber's chair Charlotte Parkhill said Barnett will remain at the Chamber under a new role "driving key Chamber projects including First steps, a mental health initiative with the government focused on business, the Regional Business Program, the NZ Chamber network, and his role with the International Chamber."

Parkhill said Barnett became CEO of the Auckland Chamber nearly 30 years ago and has helped businesses across New Zealand.

"At that time, the Chamber had a small staff and membership that reflected larger businesses. Under his leadership, the Chamber has grown significantly and has built a special relationship with small and medium businesses and provided them with a credible voice to government.

"Michael has worked closely with ministers and all political parties over three decades, which has enabled business to be heard and supported. He has provided leadership within the Chamber network both nationally and internationally and developed key business partnerships and networks that have been good for business in Auckland and NZ."

Bridges will take over at the Chamber in August.

In a tweet, Bridges paid tribute to Barnett and said it was a privilege to be taking on the role.

"Michael Barnett’s been a business institution all my adult life & I want to pay tribute to him. It’s a privilege to be taking the position of Auckland Chamber CEO later this year where I’ll work with him. I will be learning, listening & a strong voice for business & Auckland."