Governance & leadership

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Richard Didsbury

Richard Didsbury became a director of the company in 2007 and is the Chair of Auckland Airport’s safety and operational risk committee. He has been a much–valued member of the Board for the past 10 years and a champion for health and safety and corporate social responsibility. Richard’s significant management and governance experience in property, infrastructure and tourism, combined with his passion for Auckland, has helped Auckland Airport to deliver strong results for investors, our city and the country.

Richard’s retirement was deferred by the Board in 2016 so that it could retain his skills and experience to support the company’s aeronautical and property infrastructure investment programme. Richard will now retire at the annual meeting in October 2017 and the Board is undertaking a search for a new director to fill the vacancy.

Sydney visit

As part of its ongoing commitment to excellence, learning from other successful companies and being engaged in regional aeronautical developments, the Board met in Sydney in April 2017. Directors and management visited Sydney Airport, which welcomes more than 40 million passengers every year, and discussed infrastructure development, trans-Tasman tourism and health and safety. A briefing was also held with Facebook to discuss its travel and tourism activities and with Qantas to discuss airline infrastructure requirements and alliances. Directors and management also met with the New South Wales Government to discuss the development of Sydney’s new airport in Badgerys Creek and met with Boeing to discuss its view on the future of travel.

NZX Code reporting

The company has amended this annual report to ensure it incorporates the new corporate governance reporting principles issued by the New Zealand Stock Exchange, which take effect in the 2018 financial year. The following key amendments have been made to the corporate governance section of our 2017 annual report, located on page 14 of the 2017 financial statements:

  • All “Principles” are now in the same order as, and labeled in accordance with the New Zealand Stock Exchange Code
  • Reference is made to the various Board cmmittees and links provided to their individual policies
  • A skills matrix has been added to demonstrate what attributes each Director brings to the Board
  • Diversity reporting is now reported under Principle 2
  • Non-financial reporting has been highlighted and a link provided to the company’s 2016 Corporate Social Responsibility Report
  • Additional information on the Chief Executive’s remuneration has been provided
  • Confirmation has been included that we have a takeover offer protocol.

Aeronautical pricing

The Board retained its increased oversight of aeronautical pricing throughout the 2017 financial year. The ad-hoc Board sub-committee met regularly to provide governance oversight of this important task, which assisted the company in the development of its aeronautical charges for the financial years 2018–2022 in June 2017. James Miller chaired the sub-committee which was comprised of the following directors: Justine Smyth; Christine Spring and Patrick Strange. The Chair of the company, Sir Henry van der Heyden, also attended meetings of the subcommittee.

Leadership team change

In July 2017, the Chief Executive announced the appointment of Scott Tasker as Auckland Airport’s new General Manager Aeronautical Commercial. Scott will lead the company’s route development work programme, as well as its focus on tourism strategies and sustainably growing airline services to New Zealand. Scott brings 21 years of experience in the travel industry to the role and for the past two and a half years he has led our aeronautical commercial activities in the Americas market and overseen significant growth in new carriers and additional capacity. Scott replaces Norris Carter who left Auckland Airport in November 2016 to become the Chief Executive of North Queensland Airports.

Richard Didsbury, Auckland Airport Board Member for 10 years.
Scott Tasker, General Manager Aeronautical Commercial.