Eastland Port Announces New Board

A new board has been formed for Eastland Port and Gisborne Airport, aimed at unlocking opportunities and enhancing the economic potential of Tairāwhiti.

Wendie Harvey and Hamish Bell, both experienced directors from the Eastland Group board, are joined by Andre Lovatt, a seasoned infrastructure executive, and Brodie Stevens, a logistics and transport consultant with extensive maritime experience.

Wendie Harvey, who will serve as the Eastland Port and Gisborne Airport Chairperson said, “It’s an exciting new era for Eastland Port, and I am confident that our board and staff are well-equipped to drive innovation and sustainable growth.

“Our new board will play a crucial role in advancing our strategic goals, ensuring that Tairāwhiti thrives as a dynamic and prosperous region.”

In May, Trust Tairāwhiti and the Eastland Group jointly announced the group would be reshaped and transition to a new operational and governance model. The new port board appointments are a significant step in the transition process.

Trust Tairāwhiti Chair David Battin said the new board had the Trust’s full support.

“Between the four directors, they bring a wealth of expertise to our port and infrastructure company. This is important in such challenging times and while we build towards a more prosperous future for our region. 

“This new model aligns with the Trust’s strategic focus on regional investments. Strong, experienced, commercial governance helping ensure our region’s assets perform to their full potential.”

Directors Matanuku Mahuika, Debbie Birch, and Jim Quinn will maintain their roles on the Eastland Group board throughout the transition period of implementing the new operating model.

New board bios

Wendie Harvey is an esteemed director with extensive experience in governance across various sectors. She currently holds board positions at Aurora Energy Limited, Port Taranaki Ltd, TAB NZ, and serves as Chair of Hawke’s Bay Airport. She is also part of the Hawke’s Bay Regional Recovery Board, established following Cyclone Gabrielle in 2023. Her previous roles include positions at Fire and Emergency NZ, a six-year tenure as a director at Port of Napier, and seven years at Quality Roading and Services (QRS) in Wairoa.

Hamish Bell is an experienced independent director with a broad range of commercial experience gained in various roles and industries across Asia and New Zealand. In addition to his extensive governance experience, he has a background in banking, corporate finance, private equity, investor and public relations, and stockbroking. He currently sits on a range of boards across New Zealand and has been an active member of the Capital and Finance & Audit Committees of Eastland Group over the last three years.

Andre Lovatt brings over 20 years of leadership in major high-profile infrastructure projects across the Asia Pacific. As the Chief Infrastructure Officer at KiwiRail, Andre oversees a large team responsible for KiwiRail’s infrastructure portfolio. His previous roles include leading a 200-strong delivery team at Auckland Airport, managing post-earthquake restoration at the Arts Centre of Christchurch, and guiding Arup’s business transformation in Singapore. Andre’s governance experience includes serving on the boards of Christchurch International Airport and Regenerate Christchurch. He is also the board chairperson for the Sir Peter Blake Trust.

Brodie Stevens is a logistics and transport consultant with a distinguished career in maritime and shipping industries. He currently serves as an independent director at Port of Tauranga Limited, where he is a member of the Audit, Nomination, and Health and Safety subcommittees. Brodie is also the Chairman of Chatham Island Shipping, a trustee at NZ Maritime Superannuation Fund and Whanganui Collegiate School, and a trustee of the NZ Maritime Museum Foundation. His nearly two-decade tenure as Country Manager for Swire Shipping further underscores his strategic and operational expertise.