Auckland Airport Announces Chair Succession

03 May 2013

Auckland Airport Announces Chair Succession

Auckland International Airport today announced that Sir Henry van der Heyden will replace Joan Withers as Chairman of the Board of Directors when she retires immediately following the Annual Meeting in October this year.

Withers signalled at last year's Annual Meeting that she intended to step down late this year after serving for 16 years as a director of the company.

Sir Henry has been a director of Auckland Airport since September 2009. He was Chairman of the Fonterra Board for 10 years, from 2002 until he stepped down as Chairman in December 2012. Sir Henry is Chairman of Tainui Group Holdings Limited and a Director of Pascaro Investments Limited, Manuka SA Ltd, Rabobank New Zealand Limited and Rabobank Australia Limited. Sir Henry currently sits on Auckland Airport's Remuneration Committee.

"The announcement of Sir Henry's appointment to the Chairmanship will ensure a smooth governance transition over the next six months, and I know the Board will support Sir Henry in the exemplary way I have been assisted in my time as Chair. The Board will, in the coming months also be commencing the search for a replacement director to fill the vacancy created by my retirement ", said Withers.

Sir Henry said he looked forward to working with the Airport’s new CEO, Adrian Littlewood, and his experienced management team, to continue to drive tourist arrivals into New Zealand and to build this important gateway to the country.

“It is an exciting challenge because success not only brings significant benefits to the Airport, but also to the country’s national and regional economies,” he said.

Sir Henry graduated from Lincoln University in 1980 with a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons). Twelve years later he was elected as a Director of New Zealand Dairy Group in the Waikato. He went on to become Chairman in 1999 and led NZDG through the process which ultimately saw Fonterra formed in 2001. Sir Henry also served on the New Zealand Dairy Board.

Awarded Chairman of the Year in 2012 and New Zealand Herald Business Person of the Year in 2007, Sir Henry was honoured with a Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2009.


For further information, please contact:

Kate Thompson
+64 21 385 446