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Air New Zealand welcomes another union boss to its board

written by Hannah Dowling | July 19, 2021

An Air New Zealand A321-271 NX, ZK-NNC, as shot by Victor Pody
An Air New Zealand A321-271 NX, ZK-NNC, as shot by Victor Pody

Air New Zealand has announced a slew of new board appointments, including the addition of veteran union boss Paul Goulter.

Goulter currently serves as national secretary of the country’s largest education union, NZEI Te Riu Roa, and previously served as secretary of the New Zealand Council for Trade Unions and as general secretary of financial sector union Finsec.

“Air New Zealand works closely with unions and will benefit from Paul’s experience with unions here and in Australia over the last 40 years,” said chairman Dame Therese Walsh.

Last year, the airline also announced the addition of former Council of Trade Unions president Ross Wilson to its board of directors, as the company looked to make 3,500 employees redundant amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Joining Goulter as a new director on the board is Alison Gerry, who will take over from Jan Dawson upon her retirement as chair of the risk and audit committee.


Gerry currently sits on a number of boards, including ANZ Bank New Zealand, Infratil Limited, Suncorp New Zealand, and is the founding chair of Sharesies.

She also previously held directorships at both Queenstown and Wellington airports, as well as Spark, TVNZ, and Kiwibank.

“The airline will benefit from her extensive experience in governance, capital management and audit and risk with those companies,” said Dame Therese.

The airline has also appointed Claudia Batten to its board of directors.

Batten is the chair of Serko, a director at Vista Group New Zealand, and serves as the digital adviser to the board of Westpac New Zealand.

She has also served as the North American regional director for New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, and won multiple awards for her work supporting the New Zealand technology sector.

“We look forward to leveraging Claudia’s experience as a digital entrepreneur in the US, where she co-founded Victor and Spoils, the world’s first advertising agency built on crowd-sourcing principles and one of the founders of gaming advertising network Massive Corporation,” said Dame Therese.

According to the airline, the newly-announced appointments would “add diverse and highly relevant skill sets to the board”.

Air New Zealand said the new directors would “provide further digital, strategic and employment relations expertise to support Air New Zealand’s Revive phase” and “support management’s objectives of prioritising people and customers and investing in digital solutions that empower customers”.

The newly-appointed directors will fill the vacancies of three long-servicing directors, Jan Dawson, Rob Jager and Linda Jenkinson, who will retire from the board at the company’s ASM later this year.

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