Board and Senior Leaders

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Wendie Harvey: Chair

Wendie was appointed to the HBAL board in July 2016 following an extensive legal career specialising in employment law and human resource management, Wendie brings over 25 year's experience as a lawyer, executive manager, business consultant and professional director.

Wendie's governance career reflects her interests in strategy development, infrastructure management and the promotion of health and safety in the workplace. Her appointments include the Boards of Port of Napier, Centralines Limited, Aurora Energy Ltd, ETCO (Electrical Training Company Ltd) and Fire and Emergency New Zealand. Wendie also serves as a Commissioner on the New Zealand Gambling Commission and is a Council Member of the Eastern Institute of Technology.

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Sarah Park: Director

Sarah was appointed to the Board of HBAL on 1 July 2014. She has a degree in Economics from the University of Edinburgh and has 15 years experience in the financial services sector in a variety of roles across investment banking, venture capital and business advisory in NZ and overseas.

Sarah has expert knowledge in business model development, project evaluation, valuations, and transaction advisory, financing and capital markets. She has worked for large financial institutions including HSBC and PwC as well as public and private growth companies. 

Sarah's directorships include Pacific Edge, Focus Genetics and Eurogrow, She also sits on the Board of Trustees at Hereworth School.


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Sarah Reo: Director

Sarah Reo (MNZM) is a Fulbright Scholar, BA/LLB graduate (VUW) and business owner from Hawke's Bay. Sarah also graduated from the University of Hawaii Executive MBA programme in 2017.  She has served in varied roles of governance the last three years, and loves to see the community thrive. 

Along with her directorship at HBAL, Sarah's current governance roles include being a trustee of the Heretaunga Tamatea Settlement Trust where she also sits on the Audit and Risk Committee.

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Jon Nichols: Director

Jon was appointed a Director of HBAL on 1 September 2020 and is an experienced director and business consultant. He has developed and led a number of strategic growth, regulatory and performance-based initiatives for infrastructure businesses in New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. He brings over 25 years of senior leadership and governance experience across a number of financial and commercial disciplines. These include mergers and acquisitions, capital and debt structuring, project development and risk management. Jon is particularly passionate about organisational leadership development and creating platforms for thought diversity.

He also serves on the board of Palmerston North Airport Ltd, the Eastland Group Limited and Electra Limited. Additionally, Jon is the independent chair of the Risk and Assurance Committee for Hastings District Council and chair of Audit and Risk for Maungaharuru Tangitu Trust. Jon is a Fellow Member of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand.

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Stuart Ainslie: Chief Executive Officer

Stuart is a Senior Airport Executive with over 18 years’ experience in public and privately-owned international hub and regional airports in the UK, Australia and Papua New Guinea.  A professionally qualified engineer, Stuart is a consummate senior leader with a special focus on, and understanding of, airports and associated infrastructure. He has also run and managed his own aviation consultancy.

Stuart is a director of the New Zealand Airports Association and sits of the board of the Art Deco Trust. 




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Rachel Orchard: Chief Financial Officer

An experienced leader, Rachel's work across a number of industries has seen her lead change and revamp business processes within organisations. She has significant experience as a senior manager, working with all levels to effectively manage an entity's commercial and business performance.

Rachel is a valued member of the Hawke's Bay Airport team, and is regularly involved in strategy discussions. Along with her strong commercial acumen, she brings a laser focus to the bottom line. Rachel is an Associate Chartered Accountant and gained distinction when completing her MBA. 


Gareth Mentzer: Operations Manager

Gareth brings over 15 years' experience in diverse operational and business roles to Hawke's Bay Airport. He enjoys the variety of his position with the Airport, learning from other leaders and meeting the challenges of a multi-faceted operational landscape.

Gareth holds a Bachelor of Computing Science and applies his practical and analytical skills daily, within a busy airport environment experiencing both growth and change.

Having a passion for Hawke’s Bay Gareth is thrilled to not only work at the gateway to the region but to be raising his family in the region he has always called home.



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Stephanie Murphy: Airport Planner

Stephanie has devoted her career to commercial planning and infrastructure and has held key roles within electricity, energy and aviation companies. She relishes the challenge of developing new projects from an environmental, commercial and long-term strategic planning perspective, with a career highlight the consenting of Australasia's larges wind farm. Stephanie enjoys seeing sustainable progress take shape and unlocking the potential of Hawke's Bay Airport alongside a highly engaged team.

Stephanie holds a Bachelor of Resource and Environmental Planning.