Former New Zealand Prime Minister John Key is swapping the cabinet room for the board room after being named as a director of Air New Zealand.
Key, who resigned as Prime Minister in December 2016 and left parliament in March, will take his seat on the Air New Zealand board on September 1, the airline said in a statement on Monday.
Air New Zealand chairman Tony Carter said Key was approached to join the board for his strong international business experience and deep knowledge of tourism.
“When John Key announced he was stepping down as Prime Minister and moving to a new phase of life outside of politics, it became a priority for the Board to try to secure his services as a director,” Carter said.
“John will bring extensive international commercial experience, outstanding leadership skills, global perspective and a keen understanding of the tourism sector gained during the years he was Tourism Minister as well as Prime Minister of New Zealand.”
Key, who was Prime Minister from 2008 until his resignation in December 2016, described Air New Zealand as an “incredible company that has significant opportunities ahead of it”.
“I look forward to working with the board, chief executive officer and his executive team to see it fulfil its potential,” Key said.
The appointment of Key to the board comes as director Paul Bingham prepares to step down at September’s annual shareholders’ meeting after 10 years as an Air New Zealand director. He is the longest-serving member of the board.
The New Zealand government is the majority shareholder of Air New Zealand.