New board chairman appointed for Queenstown Airport

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Experienced Wanaka businessman and New Zealand Order of Merit member John Gilks is the new chairman of Queenstown Airport Corporation.

Gilks’ appointment, by Queenstown Lakes District Council, comes seven months after former board chair Mark Taylor was forced to resign by the council in April.

Taylor stood down after coming under fire for the controversial sale of a 24.99 per cent share of Queenstown Airport to Auckland International Airport for $27.2 million in July 2010.
An accountant and professional director with expertise spanning governance and business, Gilks has held multiple directorships and chairs for Otago-based businesses for almost twenty-years, a QLDC statement says.

“John is a hugely respected individual with career highlights ranging from successful chair of the Port of Otago through to being a sought after director for energy, finance and health organisations. His experience is extensive,” QLDC chief executive Debra Lawson says.

He was appointed to the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2009 for services to business and the community.

The Council unanimously supports Gilks’ appointment, mayor Vanessa van Uden says.

“The airport is a significant asset to this community, it is appropriate that someone of John’s standing and calibre should take up the mantle.”

Having recently retired from long standing roles as deputy chair of Fisher and Paykel Industries and chair of the Group Audit and Risk Committee, Gilks was looking for a fresh challenge.

“We look forward to welcoming John and working closely with him to assure the future successful strategic direction of this key asset,’ Van Uden says.