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The head of New Zealand’s superannuation fund will take over at the helm of the country’s central bank next year.

Adrian Orr will start as Reserve Bank governor from March 27, taking over from acting governor Grant Spencer. His term will be for five years and will include leading the bank through the new government’s planned review of the Reserve Bank Act.

“Mr Orr has the standing and ability to manage this process of change as governor of the bank,” said finance minister Grant Robertson, adding that “work on the first phase of the review, dealing with the objectives and decision-making processes, and role of the board, will be substantively completed by the end of March”.

The New Zealand dollar jumped following the announcement on Monday by as much as 1 per cent to $0.6904 against the US dollar.

Mr Orr has led the New Zealand Superannuation Fund since 2007 – since it was established in 2001, NZ Super has become the world’s fastest-growing sovereign wealth fund with annual returns averaging 10.2 per cent.

Prior to that role he was deputy governor of the Reserve Bank and was chief economist at Westpac. He has also served as a member on the World Economic Forum’s Long-term Investment Council and on the World Bank’s Expert Advisory Committee.

Earlier in his career he worked as an economist at the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research, the National Bank of New Zealand and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

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