Meet the Team

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Tony Porter: Director

Tony has served as a director of the Airport Company since 1997 and was elected Chairman of Directors in July 2014. He has enjoyed a noteworthy engineering career in structural and bridge design, transportation asset management and business management, specializing over the latter years in asset management and procurement options for managing road networks. Tony has a BE (Hons) in Civil Engineering, is a Fellow of the Institute of Professional Engineers, Member of the Institute of Directors New Zealand and is a Chartered Professional Engineer. He and his wife Rose have raised three children in Hawke’s Bay and are great advocates for the region.

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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 is passionate about improving the quality of life in Hawke’s Bay for all who live in the region. A love of fine wine and sunshine brought her to live in the Hawke’s Bay with her husband for 6 months in 2003 and she has not left. As a mother to two young boys she is fully invested in using her skills and energy for the benefit of the region and beyond.


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Wendie Harvey: Director

Following an extensive legal career specialising in employment law and human resource management Wendie brings to HBAL over 25 years experience as a lawyer, executive manager and business consultant.

Keen enthusiasts of the Hawkes Bay lifestyle and the richness of opportunities on offer across the region, Wendie who hails from Dannevirke and her husband Paul (from Wairoa) made the decision to return to the Bay in 1990 to raise their 3 sons, Ben, Sam and Jake. Their decision to return to the Bay was not only a great one for her family, it also led to Wendie being able to realise a number of her career ambitions resulting in employer advocacy roles, the establishment of her own successful employment relations consultancy practice, and in 2004 taking up employment with Hawkes Bay electricity company, Unison Networks Limited.

Since leaving her role as a General Manager at Unison in 2011, Wendie has pursued a governance career which 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, QRS (Quality Road Services (Wairoa) Ltd) and ETCO (Electrical Training Company Ltd). Currently Wendie also serves as a Commissioner on the New Zealand Gambling Commission.

Acutely aware of the importance of our airport to Hawkes Bay’s regional development and growth, Wendie was thrilled to be appointed to the Board of HBAL on 1 July 2016.

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Taine Randell: Director

Following an extensive professional rugby career in New Zealand and United Kingdom, including Captaincy of the All Blacks, Taine pursued a career in finance and commodity markets both offshore and locally. These skills have enabled him to contribute to a number of governance roles in both commercial and social sectors. Taine holds directorships of Kahungunu Asset Holding Company, Fiordland Lobster Company, Kiwigarden, Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) and the U-Turn Trust, an organisation that provides social services in Flaxmere.

Taine was born in Hawke’s Bay and in 2008 together with his wife Jo, and their two sons and one daughter, returned home to enjoy the region they are very passionate about.

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Stuart Ainslie: Chief Executive Officer

Stuart is a Senior Airport Executive with over 16 years’ experience in public and privately-owned hub and regional airports in the UK, Australia and Papua New Guinea.  Stuart is a professionally qualified engineer with many years of senior leadership experience predominantly focused on airports, facilities and infrastructure including a number of years running his own aviation related consultancy.

Stuart truly understands all facets of how airports work from both a commercial and operational perspective. He is passionate about transformation, getting the best out of people and excited about working with the broader community to further develop  future prospects for the Hawke's Bay Region.





Gareth Mentzer: Operations Manager

Gareth has over 15 years experience in a variety of Operational and Business Management roles working with businesses across New Zealand and in a number of diverse industries. Aviation is a new industry for Gareth but he is looking forward to how he can use experience from these diverse industries and apply it to Hawke’s Bay Airport.

Regardless of industry, collaboration and relationship management have always been key elements in the operational environments Gareth has worked within.

Holding a Bachelor’s degree in Computing Systems with an emphasis on IT Management Gareth enjoys looking at what technology changes are available to improve systems and processes.

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




Dean Smith: Commercial Manager

Dean is an experienced sales and marketing professional with a customer centric approach to business development. He takes pride in developing robust and mutually beneficial commercial relationships.

Dean has over 15 years of professional experience spent in both the financial services and wine industry including three years based in mainland China. He holds bachelor’s degrees in both commerce and science from the University of Auckland.

Dean was born and raised in Hawke’s Bay and is a proud resident the region where he lives with his wife and young family.