Liz Coutts Appointed as Ports of Auckland Chair

The Ports of Auckland Board has voted to appoint Liz Coutts as Chair, effective from 7 December 2015.

Rodger Fisher, who has been Acting Chair since the resignation of former Chair Graeme Hawkins did not stand for the position. He will return to his former position as Deputy Chair.

Mrs Coutts will be the first woman to chair the Ports of Auckland Board.

Mrs Coutts said “I am delighted to be chosen, and feel very privileged, to lead Ports of Auckland through its next phase of development. The company has made huge progress since I was first appointed to the Board in 2010. Under Chief Executive Tony Gibson, barriers to the employment of women stevedores have been broken down and the company culture has changed significantly, leading to a much more diverse and productive organisation. Ports of Auckland staff can take pride in the fact that they have made their company the largest and most efficient container port in New Zealand.”

Outside the port gates the company is focussed on expanding its network of intermodal freight hubs in order to deliver more efficient access to foreign markets for importers and exporters.

“The next few years will continue to be a time of significant change for the port. Consultation on the proposal to partially automate the container terminal will be completed in early 2016 and the Port Future Study, which will determine the long-term future of the port is due out in mid-2016. The company is actively involved in the Port Future Study and is working hard to build a more open and transparent relationship with the Auckland community. I look forward to leading the company through this exciting and challenging time,” she added.

Mrs Coutts has extensive experience in governance and executive roles in major New Zealand companies, including time as Chief Executive of Caxton Group a vertically integrated pulp and tissue paper business. For more detail see the notes below.


Mrs Coutts was first appointed a Director of Ports of Auckland in December 2010. Mrs Coutts is Chair of Oceania Healthcare Limited, Urwin and Co Limited and the IRD Risk and Assurance Committee and a Director of EBOS Group Limited, Skellerup Holdings Limited, Yellow Pages Group, Sanford Limited, Tennis Auckland Region Inc, Mrs Coutts is Vice President and a Chartered Fellow of the Institute of Directors in New Zealand Inc.

She has previously been Chief Executive of Caxton Group, Chairman of Meritec Group Limited, Industrial Research Limited and Life Pharmacy Limited, Deputy Chairman of Public Trust, and a Commissioner of both the Commerce Commission and Earthquake Commission. She has been a Director of Ravensdown Fertiliser Cooperative, Health Funding Authority, PHARMAC, Air New Zealand, Sport and Recreation New Zealand and Trust Bank New Zealand, and a member of both the Financial Reporting Standards Board of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and the Monetary Policy Committee of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand.