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Meet Auckland Airport’s first female Chief Executive

Credit: Auckland Airport

Carrie Hurihanganui has taken the reins as Auckland Airport’s new Chief Executive, the first female Chief Executive in the company’s 55-year history.

She joins the airport from Air New Zealand where she has worked for 21 years, most recently in the role of Chief Operating Officer with responsibility for pilots, cabin crew, airports, engineering and maintenance, properties and infrastructure, supply chain, resourcing and airline operations teams.

Ms Hurihanganui said: “It’s a real honour to be named the next Chief Executive of Auckland Airport, a great New Zealand company that has a critical role to play in our country’s economy. I have a long history with the airport and I am very excited by the opportunities that lie ahead. I look forward to working closely with the Board, the airport team and all of the airport's partners as we continue to deliver for New Zealand and support the country’s recovery.”

Born in the United States, Ms Hurihanganui moved to New Zealand 32 years ago when she came here on holiday. She began her career in the aviation industry as a flight attendant in 1999 with Air New Zealand while she studied for her Bachelor of Business Management degree.

She has since held several senior roles at Air New Zealand including General Manager Offshore Airports, General Manager Customer Experience, and Group General Manager Regional Airlines & Airline Operations. In her role as Chief Operating Officer she oversaw a workforce of over 6,000.

She has a Bachelor of Business Studies from Massey University and has completed various programmes of study, including INSEAD and Harvard.

Auckland Airport Chair Patrick Strange said: “I am delighted to announce the appointment of Carrie Hurihanganui as Chief Executive. She is a highly regarded leader in aviation who joins Auckland Airport following one of the most challenging times in its history. We are confident that her leadership, operational knowledge and focus on customer experience will ensure Auckland Airport's strong recovery from the pandemic and return to growth as the emerging robust recovery in international aviation and travel reaches New Zealand.”

Ms Hurihanganui replaces Adrian Littlewood who announced his departure in 2021 after almost nine years in the role.