Ports of Auckland confirms Jan Dawson as new chair

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Business

30 Sep, 2021 08:54 PM

Ports of Auckland new chair Jan Dawson. Photo / Supplied

Embattled Ports of Auckland has a new chair – and as expected it is senior experienced company director and chair Jan Dawson.

Dawson was appointed to the Auckland Council-owned port board in August and will succeed Bill Osborne.

She is a director of Meridian Energy and AIG Insurance NZ and until recently was chair of Westpac NZ and deputy chair of Air NZ.

Dawson said recruitment of new directors and a new port chief executive is underway and she intends to have both processes completed by the end of the year.

“My priorities are to complete the work already underway to implement the recommendations of the CHASNZ review into health and safety, to deliver its automation project, to lift productivity, improve customer service and to deliver a reasonable return to our shareholder, Auckland Council.”

Ports of Auckland has been in turmoil, receiving a damning independent health and safety report commissioned by the council after workplace deaths and injuries, showing poor productivity in a shipping boom, delivering weak financial results and dividends and failing to implement a costly, five-year-old container terminal automation project.

Former chief executive Tony Gibson exited in June. He and the port are being prosecuted by Maritime NZ over a workplace death. The case is scheduled to be first heard in October.

Dawson, whose naming as chair was tipped by Herald last month, is on the University of Auckland council and the capital investment committee of the Ministry of Health. She is an experienced chair of audit, risk and remuneration committees in entities where she has been a governor.

Dawson was chair and chief executive of KPMG NZ for five years until 2011, following a career spanning 30 years specialising in audit and accounting services in the UK, Canada and New Zealand.

Her previous board appointments include Beca Limited and Goodman Fielder Ltd.