Fran is an Op-Ed columnist for the New Zealand Herald writing primarily on political, business and international affairs. She is also Executive Editor of the Herald’s Mood of the Boardroom Report – the premier annual survey of chief executives in New Zealand - and MC’s the annual debate between the Finance Minister and his opponent on the influential survey’s results.
Fran's specialty is the linkages between Government and business in New Zealand - the political personalities and how they impact on business decisions.
From 1997-2005 Fran held various roles at Wilson & Horton – the previous owner of the Herald - where she was responsible for increasing the company’s profile and involved in new product launches, and then as an Assistant Editor driving national affairs coverage and leadership projects which positioned the Herald at the forefront of debate on New Zealand’s future. She was a member of the Editor-in-Chief’s strategy team.
During this time Fran, interviewed many major political leaders: Former British PM Tony Blair, US President Bill Clinton, Singapore PM Lee Hsien Loong and a raft of international foreign and commerce ministers.
Fran’s experience is not confined to journalism. She was a prime mover behind the establishment of the New Zealand-United States Council to strengthen bilateral relations with the US – serving as the council’s vice-president. She is a regular attendee at World Trade Organisation and Apec meetings and is a director of the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (NZ).
Fran’s membership of a number of exclusive dialogues: Australia-New Zealand Leadership Forum, United States-New Zealand Partnership Forum and the Japan-New Zealand Partnership Forum - give her a unique insight into the motivations of the prime political and business players whose decisions affect New Zealand’s future.
Fran is also former editor of National Business Review where she led an award-winning journalistic team in the mid-1990s at a time when NBR was a major force in corporate and investigative coverage.
She began her journalistic career in the NZ Parliamentary press gallery – of which she is an associate member – and is a frequent radio commentator on political issues.
Fran has won the following awards: Qantas Journalist of the Year (twice), Westpac Financial Journalist Award (three times. More than 20 other prime awards for political, foreign affairs, business and investigative journalism.