New Queenstown Airport chairman appointed

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Queenstown Airport Corporation board member Murray Valentine has been appointed the organisation’s interim chairman.

Valentine, a businessman and chartered accountant, has been on QAC’s board of directors since 2006.

He was appointed the position after a meeting on Tuesday between QAC shareholders Queenstown Lakes District Council and Auckland International Airport Ltd (AIAL).

He’ll act as interim chairman until the company’s annual general meeting at the end of September.

Valentine replaces former board chairman Mark Taylor, who was forced to resign by Queenstown Lakes District Council two weeks ago.

QLDC voted behind closed doors to remove Taylor if he didn’t walk. The controversial move, which has divided councillors, follows Taylor’s lead in the secret 24.99 per cent share sale of QAC to AIAL for $27.7 million last year, which caused a public outcry.

Taylor’s departure comes one month before separate High Court bids by Air New Zealand and an outspoken business lobby group to overturn the share sale.