Board and Senior Leaders

Wendie Harvey jun2022

Wendie Harvey: Chair

Wendie was appointed to the board in July 2016 following an extensive legal career specialising in employment law and human resource management. She brings more than 25-years of experience as a lawyer, executive manager, business consultant and professional director.

Wendie's governance career reflects her interests in strategy development, infrastructure management, and health and safety promotion in the workplace. Her directorships include Port Taranaki Ltd, Eastland Group Ltd, Aurora Energy and TAB NZ. Wendie also serves as a member of the Hawkes Bay Regional Agency, an oversight board formed in the aftermath of Cyclone Gabrielle which struck the region early in 2023.

Jon Nichols

Jon Nicholls: Director

Jon was appointed a director in September 2020 and is an experienced director and business consultant. 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, alongside project development and risk management. He also serves on the board of Top Energy Limited and Ngawha Generation Limited, Eastland Group and Tregaskis Brown 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.

craig barrett resized 2023

Craig Barrett: Director

Craig joined the board of Hawke’s Bay Airport Limited in 2022. He is a director at Baker Tilly Staples Rodway Chartered Accountants in Hamilton and has many years’ experience in delivering accountancy, strategy, and leadership advice to clients across a range of entities and sectors, including particular expertise working with Māori organisations.

Craig is passionate about innovation and value adding to the improve economic performance of the organisations he is associated with. His current directorships include Hineuru Holdings, Ahuahu Group (Ngati Maniapoto commercial entity), Waikato Tainui Group Investment Committee, Te Waka Waikato’s regional economic development agency.

Darin Cusack 2

Darin Cusack: Director

Darin joined the board in December 2022, as representative for shareholder councils Napier City and Hastings District. He brings more than 20 years’ experience in airports and aviation leadership and director roles to HBAL.

Darin brings a background in aviation, transport and tourism, having held chief executive and senior executive roles across airport, air navigation, aviation security and airline organisations throughout New Zealand and the Pacific region.

Most recently, he led the Pacific Aviation Investment Program (PAIP) on behalf of the World Bank Group across six countries in the Pacific region, and the reform & restructure of the Pacific Aviation Safety Office. The program delivered over US$350 million of infrastructure renewal, technical assistance, regulatory oversight and capacity building.

Since then, he has focussed on governance and director roles. His current directorships include Airways New Zealand, Auckland One Rail, ACL Ltd Canterbury Cricket Association, and Youth Association of New Zealand. He also is an Independent Chair supporting Auckland Transport and Te Whatu Ora strategic projects.

Rob Stratford jun2022

Rob Stratford: Chief Executive Officer

Rob joined HBAL as CEO in April 2022. He is a highly experienced infrastructure senior executive with a proven track record for growing international publicly listed companies’ top-line revenue and profitability across the following industries: shipping and maritime services, industrial services, energy (oil, gas, and electricity), transportation, and aviation. This growth is underpinned by strategy formation, restructuring, strong financial management, building successful teams, and execution.

Rob holds a commerce degree from Canterbury University in Economics and Accounting and is a member of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand. 

Rochelle Ham

Rochelle Ham: Chief Financial Officer

Deb 2022

Deb Suisted: Operations Manager

Deb loves working in the dynamic and challenging airport environment. With an acute understanding of large and small-scale airport operations, in both the domestic and international setting, she takes a considered and adaptive approach to her role at Hawke’s Bay Airport. Her diverse background in aviation security, regulation, law enforcement, emergency management and many years in the accommodation and tourism sector as a small business owner delivers a holistic approach to her role at Hawke’s Bay Airport.

Deb is as passionate about safety and security as she is about people. Contingency planning and leading teams through change are two areas in which Deb thrives.