Chairperson of the Year: Sir Henry van der Heyden

Already twice nominated as finalist in past years, Sir Henry’s achievement this year recognises his outstanding leadership at the helm of New Zealand’s largest corporate and global dairy enterprise. 

He fronted the delivery of the Trading Among Farmers scheme that will be critical to Fonterra’s equity-raising capability in future. He led this extremely difficult process helping to successfully deliver positive outcome. 

He also successfully completed one of the most important of all governance tasks, the selection of new chief executive. 

The judges for this year’s award note Fonterra is large and highly complex enterprise and, because of its size and contribution to the economy, its fortunes are vital to New Zealand. Sir Henry this year has demonstrated his very effective board leadership skills, they say. 

He is also chair of Tainui Group Holdings and director of Auckland International Airport among other businesses and organisations. 

“What needs to be recognised is that Sir Henry has done the hard yards and not walked away from the challenges the company has faced over the years,” the judges say.

“The success of Fonterra has been, and will continue to be, critical to New Zealand and in the past 12 months in particular, Sir Henry has led the board to secure that ongoing success.” 

Finalists

Dr David Kerr, Ryman Healthcare

Joan Withers, Auckland International Airport & Mighty River Power

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