New directors appointed to Whanganui Port Boards

Published on 16 August 2023

Whanganui District Council Holdings logo

Whanganui District Council Holdings Limited media release

Whanganui District Council Holdings Limited is pleased to announce the appointment of new directors for Whanganui Port General Partner Limited and Whanganui Port Operating Company Limited, as the one-year term for the ‘transitional’ directors will come to completion next month.

Whanganui District Council Holdings Chair Carolyn van Leuven says “after an extensive and robust recruitment process in which we received 50 applications, the panel is confident we have the right balance of skills and experience to lead the Port companies.”

“This is great news as we embark on a significant phase of work with the Port rebuild set to commence later this month.”

Current Port General Partner Chair, Mark Petersen, will remain on both boards alongside new directors Hayden Turoa and Nick Wareham.

“While having two separate companies is a necessity, by appointing the three directors with responsibilities across both we are creating a simpler and more efficient model, which is appropriate during the next phase of the port’s growth.”

Each board member will receive one salary for both boards, and serve for a three-year term which is standard practice for council-controlled organisations.

For the past year, Mark Petersen has been chair of the Port General Partner, while also a director of the Port Operating Company. 

“Mark is a very experienced director and technical operator who brings a set of specific skills and experience for this role, including Port and Waterfront redevelopment governance,” says Carolyn van Leuven.

“He has been actively involved in the Whanganui Port over the past year as a transitional director, laying the foundations for a revitalised port which will stimulate our local economy and ensure we attract and retain high-value jobs in our city.”

Meanwhile, Hayden Turoa is no stranger to the Whanganui Port, as he currently holds the role of Project Director for Te Pūwaha: the Whanganui Port revitalisation project. He has experience in both governance and executive leadership, along with a strong understanding of Te Awa Tupua (Whanganui River as a living being and legal personality) and its intrinsic values, Tupua te Kawa.

Turoa has some work to complete in his current role as Te Pūwaha Project Director and will take up the Port Company Director role within the next few months – current board member Ken Mair will act as alternate until then.

The third director is Nick Wareham, who brings a wide range of skills and experience, having held senior executive positions in both the private and public sector across ports, airports, forestry and commercial property. He has operated within and is familiar with central and regional government as well as having served as a director on joint ventures.

Carolyn van Leuven acknowledges the contribution that departing directors Declan Millin and Hamish McDouall have made, and is grateful to Ken Mair for agreeing to stay on for an interim period until Hayden Turoa’s appointment becomes effective.

“The original director appointments were made in September 2022 and were always intended to be transitional,” she says.

“The contributions of Declan, Ken and Hamish have been invaluable, particularly at a time when urgent decisions had to be made in relation to the port revitalisation project and around overseeing port operations.”

“A lot has been achieved over the past year including a robust governance framework established, a range of complex partner and other funding agreements put in place, a procurement approach adopted to deliver value for money for project funders, and a contractor appointed for the stage one port rebuild works to get underway.”

“Thanks to their hard work, we are now in a place where they are able to step down from their roles as permanent directors are appointed.”

The first board meeting for the new board directors will be held on Friday, 15 September.


Tagged as: