Auckland Airport announces new Chief Executive

04 October 2021

The Auckland Airport Board has appointed Carrie Hurihanganui as the company’s new Chief Executive.

Auckland Airport Chair Patrick Strange said: “I am delighted to announce the appointment of Carrie Hurihanganui as Chief Executive. She is a highly regarded leader in aviation who joins Auckland Airport following one of the most challenging times in its history. We are confident that her leadership, operational knowledge and focus on customer experience will ensure Auckland Airport's strong recovery from the pandemic and return to growth as the emerging robust recovery in international aviation and travel reaches New Zealand.”

Carrie Hurihanganui is Auckland Airport’s first female Chief Executive in its 55-year history. She joins the airport from Air New Zealand where she has worked for 21 years, most recently in the role of Chief Operating Officer with responsibility for pilots, cabin crew, airports, engineering and maintenance, properties and infrastructure, supply chain, resourcing and airline operations teams.

Ms Hurihanganui said: “It’s a real honour to be named the next Chief Executive of Auckland Airport, a great New Zealand company that has a critical role to play in our country’s economy. I have a long history with the airport and I am very excited by the opportunities that lie ahead. I look forward to working closely with the Board, the airport team and all of the airport's partners as we continue to deliver for New Zealand and support the country’s recovery.”

Mr Strange said Ms Hurihanganui will replace Adrian Littlewood who announced his departure in May after almost nine years in the role.

“I would like to thank Adrian for his dedication and exceptional leadership over many years, during which time he has led a sustained period of growth and development and seen the company through the immense disruption of a global pandemic. He has done a great job for the Airport and, through his wider leadership, for New Zealand. We wish him all the very best for the future,” said Mr Strange.

Mr Littlewood will finish in his role on November 12 and Mary-Liz Tuck has been appointed interim Chief Executive. She will return to her role as Auckland Airport’s General Manager Corporate Services when Ms Hurihanganui commences in the role early in the new year.

Biography: Carrie Hurihanganui

Ms Hurihanganui was born in the United States and moved to New Zealand 32 years ago when she came here on a holiday. She began her career as a flight attendant in 1999 with Air New Zealand while she studied for her Bachelor of Business Management degree.

She has an abundance of strategic and operational experience having held several senior roles at Air New Zealand including General Manager Offshore Airports, General Manager Customer Experience, and Group General Manager Regional Airlines & Airline Operations. In her role as Chief Operating Officer she oversees a workforce of over 6,000.

Ms Hurihanganui left the airline in 2017 to join National Australia Bank (NAB) based in Melbourne as Executive General Manager Customer Experience before returning in 2018 to the Chief Ground Operations Officer role. She has a Bachelor of Business Studies from Massey University and has completed various programmes of study, including INSEAD and Harvard.

Ms Hurihanganui, aged 50, has two children aged six and 20.