Former prime minister John Key to become an Air NZ director

Former prime minister John Key will join the Air New Zealand board in September.
CAMERON BURNELL/FAIRFAX NZ

Former prime minister John Key will join the Air New Zealand board in September.

Former prime minister John Key has taken a directorship with the "incredible" Air New Zealand.

Key, who in March left Parliament after resigning following eight years in power, will be a director from September.

Air New Zealand chairman Tony Carter said it had been trying to get Key as a director since the former prime minister announced his resignation in December.

Air New Zealand chief executive Christopher Luxon (left), former prime minister John Key, and ATR chief executive ...
JOHN ANTHONY/FAIRFAX NZ

Air New Zealand chief executive Christopher Luxon (left), former prime minister John Key, and ATR chief executive Patrick de Castelbajac at the announcement Air New Zealand was buying 15 new ATR-600s.

"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."

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Key said he was delighted to have been approached by the Air New Zealand board.

The company's longest serving director, Paul Bingham, would retire at its shareholders meeting in September.

"Air New Zealand is an incredible company that has significant opportunities ahead of it and I look forward to working with the board, chief executive officer and his executive team to see it fulfil its potential," Key said.

Air New Zealand directors were last year paid $90,000 in director's fees, but also had travel entitlements and could earn committee fees as well.

Carter said the airline's growth of its international operations around the Pacific Rim were a strong focus for which it wanted a director with international experience.

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"We also identified that the ideal candidate would have a strong empathy for the tourism industry."

 - Stuff

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