Infratil chairman David Newman died in Wellington this afternoon.
Newman was a founding director of Infratil in 1994 and became chairman in 2004.
Infratil chief executive Marko Bogoievski said in a statement to the NZX that Newman made an "outstanding" contribution to the company.
"Our thoughts are with David's family during this difficult time.
"David was hugely supportive of his management teams and built strong local relationships wherever he went. His sound advice, business acumen, governance, relationship skills and strong moral compass would be missed by all those at Infratil and associated with Infratil."
Newman stepped down from Infratil on medical leave on October 8.
He was chairman of Wellington Airport and chairman of Infratil's European Airports. While a director of Infratil he was for a period also the chief executive of the Institute of Directors.
Before becoming a director of Infratil, Newman had an extensive career with BP, including as managing director of BP New Zealand.
His oil sector expertise was "instrumental", Bogoievski said in the highly successful purchase of the downstream New Zealand assets of Shell, which are now Z Energy, by Infratil and the New Zealand Superannuation Fund in 2010.
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