Air New Zealand Board

Below are profiles of Air New Zealand's Directors.

On this page you will also find Air New Zealand's Board Charter, information about independence of Directors and nomination and selection information.

Also see our board committees.

Dame Therese Walsh DNZM, BCA, FCA

Chairman
Independent Non-Executive Director - Appointed 1 May 2016

Dame Therese Walsh.

Dame Therese Walsh is an Independent director and Chairman of Air New Zealand Ltd.  She is also a Director of ASB Bank Ltd, and Contact Energy Ltd, a Board member of Antarctica New Zealand and Pro Chancellor of Victoria University.

Previously she was the Head of New Zealand for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, and the Chief Operating Officer for Rugby New Zealand 2011 Limited. She has also been Chairman of TVNZ Ltd, a Director of NZX Ltd, NZ Cricket and Save the Children NZ, Trustee of Wellington Regional Stadium, CFO at the New Zealand Rugby Union and part of the team that worked on the winning bid to host RWC 2011. Prior to this she was an auditor at KPMG.

Dame Therese is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and a commerce graduate from Victoria University. In 2013, she was named the inaugural supreme winner of the Women of Influence Awards and was awarded a Sir Peter Blake Trust Leadership Award in 2014. She became a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in June 2015.

Janice (Jan) Dawson CNZM, BCom, FCA

Deputy Chairman
Independent Non-Executive Director - Appointed 1 April 2011

Jan Dawson.

Ms Dawson is Chairman of Westpac New Zealand and a director of AIG Insurance New Zealand Limited, Meridian Energy Limited and World Sailing. Ms Dawson is a member of the University of Auckland Council, the Capital Investment Committee of the National Health Board.

Ms Dawson was a partner of KPMG for 30 years, specialising in audit and risk advisory, and the Chair and Chief Executive of KPMG New Zealand from 2006 until 2011.

Ms Dawson holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Auckland. She is a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants, a Fellow of the Institute of Directors in New Zealand, a Paul Harris Fellow, a North Shore Business Hall of Fame Laureate (2010) and named Chartered Accountant of the Year in 2011 by the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants.

Robert (Rob) Jager ONZM, BE (Hons), MBA

Independent Non-Executive Director - Appointed 1 April 2013

Rob Jager.

Mr Jager was formally Chairman and Vice President of the Shell Companies in New Zealand and more recently the Vice President of Shell Australia's Prelude Floating LNG and wider East Browse assets offshore of Western Australia.

Mr Jager spent a career spanning more than 40 years within Shell, joining the group in New Zealand in 1978 as an engineering cadet and working for Shell in a variety of engineering, project development, operations and asset management, executive management and governance roles in New Zealand and overseas. He completed his Bachelor of Engineering degree in 1983 with 1st Class Honours and later gained an MBA with Distinction.

Mr Jager chaired the independent taskforce on Workplace Health and Safety for the New Zealand Government, which has been instrumental in encouraging fundamental changes to New Zealand’s approach to workplace health and safety. Mr Jager also chaired the Petroleum Exploration and Production Association NZ as well as the Business Leaders Health and Safety Forum. Mr Jager was a Director for National Science Challenge – Sustainable Seas -– Project and an advisor to a major conservation project working towards the ecological restoration of New Zealand’s iconic Mount Taranaki.

 

In 2013, Mr Jager received the Energy Executive of the Year Award at the New Zealand Deloitte Energy Excellence Awards for his “standout performance in the New Zealand energy sector”. He was elected a fellow of the Institute of Professional Engineers in 2015 for his contribution to the advancement of engineering practice and leadership in the profession and was recognised with a Safeguard Life-time Achievement Award in 2017. Mr Jager was awarded Officer of New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) in the 2018 New Zealand Honours’ for his services to Business and Health and Safety.

Mr Jager has been Chairman of the Air New Zealand Health, Safety and Security Committee since September 2014.

Linda Jenkinson MBA, BBS

Independent Non-Executive Director - Appointed 1 June 2014

Linda Jenkinson.

Ms Jenkinson is a proven global entrepreneur who has started three multi-national companies, one of which listed on the NASDAQ. Most recently she was the co-founder of John Paul, a global concierge services and digital solutions company that services some of the world’s leading customer facing businesses.  Prior to that Linda was the first New Zealand women to list on the NASDAQ, where she listed a global on-demand transportation company with more than 6,000 workers in 80 cities.

Ms Jenkinson currently chairs Guild Super, Jaxsta (JXT.AX) and Unicef Aotearoa NZ. She is a director of the Eclipz Group (ECX.AX) in Australia, a director of Harbour Asset Management and a trustee and secretary of the Massey University Foundation in the United States. Ms Jenkinson is the Founder of LevelUp, working with high-growth companies which includes Valocity, where she is Chairs the Advisory Board.

Previously Ms Jenkinson was a partner at A.T. Kearney in their Global Financial Services Practice and was a leader in A.T. Kearney’s Global Sourcing Practice. Ms Jenkinson holds a Master of Business Administration from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Business Studies from Massey University. In 2016, Ms Jenkinson was named a World Class New Zealander by Kea and was named as one of the most influential women in the Bay Area for 2014 by the San Francisco Business Times. In 2014 Ms Jenkinson was a recipient of Massey University’s Sir Geoffrey Peren Award, which recognises a graduate who has reached the highest level of achievement or who has been of significant service to the university, community or nation.

Jonathan Mason MBA, MA, BA

Independent Non-Executive Director - Appointed 1 March 2014

Jonathan Mason.

Mr Mason has more than 30 years’ experience in the financial sector, with an emphasis on emerging markets.

Prior to joining Air New Zealand’s Board in March 2014, he was Fonterra Co-operative Group’s Chief Financial Officer.

He joined Fonterra in 2009 from US-based chemicals company Cabot Corporation where he was Executive Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer. Prior to this he was employed as the Chief Financial Officer at forest products company Carter Holt Harvey Limited and also served in senior financial management positions at US based International Paper.

Mr Mason has had governance experience for organisations in both New Zealand and the US. His current directorships include Vector Limited, Westpac NZ and Zespri Group Limited. Mr Mason also serves as an Adjunct Professor of Management at the University of Auckland, specialising in international finance.

Laurissa Cooney BMS (Hons), FCA, CMinstD

Independent Non-Executive Director - Appointed 1 October 2019

Laurissa Cooney.

Ms Cooney is a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants, and a Chartered Member of the Institute of Directors in New Zealand. She has previously held senior manager, auditing and consulting roles with Deloitte in New Zealand and Deloitte Touche in London and was the Chief Financial Officer for Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi.

Ms Cooney currently serves as the Chair of Tourism Bay of Plenty, and is an Independent Non-Executive Director for AWF Madison Group and a Trustee on the Charitable Investment Trust for Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki. She also holds a role as an independent director on the Audit & Risk board of Ngā Tāngata Tiaki and was previously a committee member for the Institute of Directors Bay of Plenty Branch. She was a 2017 recipient of the Institute of Directors Emerging Director Award.

Ms Cooney is of Te Āti Hau Nui a Pāpā Rangi (Whanganui) descent. 

Larry De Shon

Independent Non-Executive Director - Appointed 20 April 2020

Mr De Shon has more than 40 years' experience in the Aviation and transportation industries. 

Prior to joining Air New Zealand's Board in April 2020, he was Chief Executive Officer of Avis Budget Group, Inc, where he was responsible for more than 30,000 employees globally.

He also spent 28 years with United Airlines where he held a number of Executive roles across key business areas such as Airport Operations, Marketing and On-Board Service. During his time as the head of United's worldwide Airport Operations, he oversaw the airline's ground operations, logistics, safety, customer service, product development and internal communications teams.

Mr De Shon is a non-executive director for The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc, a US-based Fortune 500 investment and insurance company, where he serves on the board's Audit Committee and the Finance, Investment and Risk Management Committee.

Mr De Shon has bachelor's degrees in both communications and sociology from the University of Missouri, Kansas.

Dean Bracewell

Independent Non-Executive Director - Appointed 20 April 2020

Mr Bracewell has significant experience in the freight and logistics industry, with the majority of his career spent at Freightways Limited (Freightways) where he held a number of senior leadership and Executive roles, including most recently as Managing Director from 1999 to 2017.

During his over 30-year career at Freightways he led the business through its successful initial public offering in 2003 and as it diversified its business and extended its geographical footprint into Australia.

Mr Bracewell is a Director of Tainui Group Holdings Limited, Property for Industry Limited and the Halberg Foundation. He is also a member of the Government's Future of Rail Steering Group and was a director of the public policy think tank "The New Zealand Initiative" and its predecessor the "New Zealand Business Roundtable" from 2011 to 2015.

Mr Bracewell is of Ngāti Maniapoto and Ngāi Te Rangi descent.

Board Charter

This Board Charter sets out the authority, responsibilities, membership and operation of the Board of Directors of Air New Zealand Limited ("the Company"). It is to be read in conjunction with the Constitution of the Company.

Download the full Board Charter

Independence of Directors

The Air New Zealand Board has agreed upon a test to assess each of its directors against specific criteria to determine whether they are in a position to exercise independent judgement. For details, see the Board Charter document above.

An independent director is one whom the Board affirmatively determines has no material relationship with Air New Zealand (either directly or as a partner, a substantial security holder or officer of an organisation that has a relationship with the Company) that could reasonably influence their judgement and decision making as a director. Directors are required to notify the Board of all relevant information which may affect their independence.

A majority of directors of Air New Zealand's Board and Audit Committee are independent directors, including the Chairman.

Nomination and selection procedures

The Board is responsible for nominating members to the Board and for filling vacancies on the Board that may occur between annual meetings. In considering potential directors to commend to shareholders, the Board seeks to identify candidates with appropriate skills, knowledge and experience to contribute to effective direction of the Company, who can exercise an independent and informed judgement on matters which come to the Board and who are free of any business or other relationship that may interfere with the exercise of that individual judgement.

The Chairman and Deputy Chairman are selected by the full Board.