Board of Directors

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 retired in 2014 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 a director of Mercury NZ Limited and Transgrid.

He was appointed a Distinguished Fellow of IPENZ in March 2014.

Mark Binns

Director, LLB

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 Mercury NZ Limited.

By training, Mark is a qualified lawyer. He is a former partner of Simpson Grierson in Auckland.

Mark Cairns

Director, BE (Hons), BBS, MMGT, FEngNZ, CFInstD

Mark Cairns was appointed a director of the company in 2022.

Mark retired in 2021 as Chief Executive of Port of Tauranga following 16 years in the role. He has a first class honours degree in Civil Engineering from University of Auckland, a degree in Business Studies and a Master of Management from Massey University. He is a Fellow of Engineering New Zealand and a Chartered Fellow of the Institute of Directors.

Mark has worked in large infrastructure (build/operate), logistic operations and complex supply chains for most of his career and brings extensive Chief Executive experience in business operations at scale, including significant exposure to capital markets.

Mark is currently the chair of Freightways Limited.

Dean Hamilton

Director, BCA

Dean Hamilton was appointed a director of the company in 2018.

Dean has 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 currently the chair of Fulton Hogan and Ryman Healthcare and a director of The Warehouse Group and Tappenden Holdings.

Julia Hoare

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, energy, and international FMCG.

Julia is the Chair of Port of Tauranga Limited and a Director of Meridian Energy Limited and Comvita Limited. Julia is also a member of the Chapter Zero New Zealand Steering Committee.

Liz Savage

Director, BEng, MSc

Elizabeth (Liz) was appointed a director of the company in 2019.

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, North Queensland Airports, PeopleIn Limited and Tiger HoldCo Pty Limited, and has previously Chaired 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.

Tania Simpson

Director, BA, MMM, CFinstD

Tania Simpson was appointed a director of the company in 2018.

Tania is currently a director of Tainui Group Holdings Ltd, Waikato-Tainui Fisheries Ltd, Meridian Energy Ltd and Ukaipo Ltd.

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 was appointed to the Board of Waste Management NZ effective as of 25 September 2023.

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 and has worked on a number of Treaty claims and settlements.

Christine Spring

Director, BE, MSc Eng, MBA

Christine Spring was appointed a director of the company in 2014.

Christine is a civil engineer and business executive with over 25 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 and NZ Windfarms; and the Chair of Isthmus Group Limited.