Chairs and board members sought for Whanganui port companies

Published on 05 May 2023

Ariel view of port

Whanganui District Council Holdings Limited is seeking expressions of interest from suitably experienced candidates to be members or Chairs of the Whanganui Port General Partnership and the Whanganui Port Operating Company.

Whanganui Port General Partner Limited is responsible for the rebuilding of the port wharves and associated infrastructure as part of Te Pūwaha: the Whanganui Port revitalisation project. Upon completion of Te Pūwaha, Whanganui will have enhanced flood protection and a modern purpose built marine precinct, securing the Whanganui Port as a community asset for the next 50 years and beyond.

Holdings chair, Declan Millin, says, “The current members were each appointed to interim boards for one year, with a focus on establishing the new entities and their terms end in September 2023.”

He says, “We are looking for applicants who, between them, can offer knowledge, experience and capability across both corporate and regulatory environments and with multiple stakeholders.”

Capability and experience will be needed in areas such as accountancy, law, risk management, commerce, port infrastructure asset management and operations, and commercial property management. They will also need to have strong stakeholder management skills, including iwi and hapū relationships and engagement, strong communication skills and high level of capability to understand Te Ao Māori and Te Awa Tupua (the relevant Whanganui River legislation and embedded values).

Millin says, “All directors will need core governance experience and skills, including a sound understanding of the governance operating model (as a subsidiary company reporting to a parent company) and health and safety governance.

“We welcome applicants who can bring diversity to the board and successful candidates must also be willing to devote time and energy to the role. Ideally, you will live in or close to Whanganui, or demonstrate a strong connection to the rohe.”

Each board comprises three members, including the chair.

The Port General Partnership board needs strong strategic thinkers, says Millin, “With the energy to drive and establish the business processes and controls, and to lead on both short-term and longerterm priorities.

“Collectively the board also needs a range of company specific skills and experience, including experience in the port and commercial property sectors.”

“The Port Operating Company board needs energetic, commercially savvy directors to drive the establishment and future sustainability of the company,” he says.

Members are appointed for terms of up to three years and are eligible to serve a further three years. Applications may be submitted for one or both Board’s and should indicate any interest in the role of Chair.

To Apply: Please e-mail Whanganui District Council Holdings Limited a copy of your CV and submit a cover letter outlining which company board you wish to be a member and/or chair of, and why. Applications close at 4.00pm on Friday 2 June 2023. E-mail (subject line Whanganui Port GP and Port Op Co Board applications).

Further information

Governance Structure and Company Ownership Whanganui District Council Holdings Limited (WDCHL) is a Council Controlled Organisation, 100% owned by the Whanganui District Council (Council). WDCHL is responsible for overseeing and driving the Council's commercial assets which includes Whanganui Port General Partner Limited (Port GP) and its subsidiary Whanganui Port Operating Company Limited (Port Op Co).

Port GP and Port Op co-operate the Whanganui Port Limited Partnership, a stand-alone legal entity established in 2022, which owns the port assets and Harbour Endowment land. Port GP is the General Partner in the Limited Partnership and provides the governance function for the Limited Partnership.

Port GP is responsible for the rebuilding of the port wharves and associated infrastructure and the running of the operations of the port, in addition to the management of the Harbour Endowment portfolio. The rebuilding of the wharves is one of four strands of work under the larger Te Pūwaha project which is aimed at revitalising Whanganui’s port and associated lower river infrastructure.

The historic wharves which comprise the Whanganui Port are neglected and urgently need restoration. Without this work, the existing port operations would be limited to Wharf 1 as is currently the case.

The Port GP infrastructure project includes:

• Upgrading 450m of wharves.

• Development of marine infrastructure.

• Provision of a hardstand and runway suitable for a mobile boat hoist with a 390-tonne lift capacity to enable boats to be lifted in and out of the water.

• Improving dredging capabilities to secure the long term safe use of the wharves and public slipway.

Port Op Co is a fully owned subsidiary of Port GP and is contracted to the Limited Partnership to provide the operational resources required to complete the port revitalisation project, operate the port, and manage the Harbour Endowment portfolio.

The Te Awa Tupua (Whanganui River Claims Settlement) 2017 Act recognises Te Awa Tupua as an indivisible and living whole, comprising the Whanganui River from the mountains to the sea, incorporating all its physical and meta‐physical elements. The Act includes Tupua te Kawa, the four values which guide all actions and decision-making to provide for the health and well-being of both the river and its people, providing guidance to the governance and operational activities of both Port GP and Port Op Co.

For more information

Additional Information is available to download(PDF, 486KB) or by contacting WDCHL at


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