Managing an outstanding company
Auckland Airport’s board of directors and executive team focus on ensuring the company is managed at the highest strategic level. They work to realise the company’s long-term corporate objectives, as it continuously strives to become the world’s most outstanding and welcoming airport.
As New Zealand’s busiest airport, we are one of our country’s largest infrastructure assets and one of the biggest employers in the Greater Auckland region.
Meet our board of directors
Dr Patrick Strange
Chair, BE, PhD, Dist FIPENZ
Patrick Strange was appointed a director of the company in 2015 and became chair of the company in 2018.
He has spent 35 years working principally in the New Zealand and international electricity and infrastructure sectors.
Patrick completed a doctorate in civil engineering at the University of Auckland, and then spent 13 years in Europe and North America. He was appointed Chief Executive of Mercury Energy in 1998 and went on to build the network unit into a successful standalone business as Vector. Patrick recently retired as Chief Executive of Transpower, New Zealand’s transmission owner and operator. During his tenure, Transpower successfully completed a major, multi-billion dollar reinvestment in the grid.
Patrick is currently Chair of Chorus Limited and a director of Mercury NZ Limited.
He was appointed a Distinguished Fellow of IPENZ in March 2014.
Mark Binns was appointed a director of the company in 2018.
His successful career has seen him closely involved in many of New Zealand’s largest infrastructure projects, including the Wiri Prison public-private partnership, Waterview Connection, Eden Park, SKYCITY, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa and the Manapōuri tunnel. For 22 years, Mark worked at Fletcher Building and its predecessor, Fletcher Challenge Limited. During that period he was responsible for operations in Australia, South East Asia, India, South America, the United States and the South Pacific, as well as in New Zealand.
Mark also brings to this governance role the experience of being a Chief Executive. He was Chief Executive of Meridian from 2012 to 2017, during which he prepared the company for New Zealand’s largest IPO and delivered strong shareholder returns. He is also a former Chief Executive of the Infrastructure Division of Fletcher Building Limited, the company’s largest division.
Mark is currently Chair of Crown Infrastructure Partners Limited and Hynds Ltd, a director of Hynds Holdings Ltd, Te Puia Tapapa Ltd and a Trustee of The Auckland War Memorial Museum.
By training, Mark is a qualified lawyer. He is a former partner of Simpson Grierson in Auckland.
Dean comes to Auckland Airport with significant CEO and financial markets experience. Most recently he was CEO of Silver Fern Farms Limited where he successfully led the business through a period of significant change and improvement in financial performance, health & safety, staff and supplier engagement, sustainability and consumer trust in the brand.
Dean’s career includes 12 years at global investment bank Deutsche Bank, working in both Australia and New Zealand, where he advised a wide range of companies on M&A, capital management, corporate restructuring and capital raising.
Prior to Deutsche Bank, Dean held CEO roles in manufacturing and general management in retail.
Dean brings experience at running a large organisation with a wide range of stakeholders as well as a deep understanding in finance and capital markets.
Dean is also a director of Fulton Hogan, Tappenden Holdings and the Warehouse Group.
Director, BCom, FCA, CMInstD
Julia Hoare was appointed a director of the company in 2017.
Prior to her governance career, Julia had extensive chartered accounting experience in Australia, the United Kingdom and New Zealand and was a partner with PwC New Zealand for 20 years until 2012. Her expertise spans finance, commercial, tax, regulatory, sustainability and climate change.
Through both her professional experience and board roles, Julia is knowledgeable across a diverse range of sectors including transport and logistics, infrastructure and international FMCG marketing.
She is familiar with high-growth businesses operating globally as well as those facing disruptive challenges and opportunities in the new digital age.
Julia is a qualified chartered accountant and a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand. She is the deputy chair of The a2 Milk Company Limited, and a director of Port of Tauranga Limited and Meridian Energy Limited. Julia is also a member of the New Zealand External Reporting Advisory Panel and the Vice-President of the New Zealand Institute of Directors.
Director, BEng, MSc
Elizabeth (Liz) has extensive experience in the airline, travel & tourism sectors and brings a deep understanding of the airline business to the Board.
Her 20-year career in senior leadership roles in Australia and Europe, includes being Chief Commercial Officer of Virgin Australia during the successful early stage transformation of the airline and Business Development Director of easyJet during the airline’s first ten years of rapid growth.
Liz is currently a director of Intrepid Travel Group, Intrepid Foundation, North Queensland Airports, People Infrastructure and the Chair of the Queensland Government Tourism Recovery Action Plan Industry Panel.
Previous directorships include Mantra Group, Swissport ANZ, Brisbane Marketing and Triathlon Australia. Through her roles, Liz brings particular focus on customer strategy, marketing and sustainable growth.
Liz qualified as an Aeronautical Engineer, with a master’s degree in Air Transport Management.
Justine Smyth CNZM
Director, BCom, FCA
Justine Smyth was appointed a director of the company in 2012. She is the Chair of Auckland Airport's people and capability committee.
Justine is currently Chair of Spark New Zealand Limited and Chair of Breast Cancer Foundation New Zealand. Previous directorships include being a board member of the Financial Markets Authority and deputy chair of New Zealand Post Limited.
Justine's background is in Finance and business management holding executive roles as Group finance director of Lion Nathan Limited and a partner of Deloitte. She has also owned and managed a number of SME enterprises.
Through her roles, Justine has strong experience in retail, governance, mergers and acquisitions, taxation and financial performance of large corporate enterprises, and the acquisition, ownership, management and sale of small and medium-sized enterprises.
Director, BA, MMM, CFinstD
Tania Simpson was appointed a director of the company in 2018.
Tania is currently a director of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, Tainui Group Holdings Ltd, Moko Club NZ and Kowhai Consulting.
Tania is also a Governance Group member of the Deep South Challenge and a member of the Waitangi Tribunal.
She is Deputy Chair of the Waitangi National Trust and Chair of the Sustainable Seas Challenge.
Tania’s background includes 14 years as a director of Mighty River Power from its beginnings as a State Owned Enterprise through to its successful listing in 2013.
Tania is known for her work within Maori communities. Her experience includes time spent as a Maori Advisory Officer for the Housing Corporation of NZ before moving into central government as a Senior Policy Analyst on housing policies. She has also helped negotiate agreements for Maori communities through her time at Treasury Group Ltd and has worked on a number of Treaty claims and settlements.
Director, BE, MSc Eng, MBA
Christine Spring was appointed a director of the company in 2014.
Christine is a civil engineer and has approximately 20 years' experience in aviation infrastructure development and strategic planning roles in New Zealand, Australia, United Arab Emirates, Asia and the Pacific Islands.
During her career to date, Christine's experience has been focused in strategy, stakeholder management and the planning of significant capital development projects in the aviation industry. Also, she was an executive of Auckland Airport before heading overseas to broaden her experience in 2002.
Christine's experience in aviation infrastructure and executive management is serving Auckland Airport well as the company focuses on its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and its future infrastructure development plans.
Christine is also a director of Western Sydney Airport Limited, Unison Networks Limited, Unison Contracting Services Limited and NZ Windfarms; and the Chair of Isthmus Group Limited.