New Eastland Group chairman

Keith Sutton has been appointed chairman of Eastland Group Limited, Eastland Network Limited, Eastland Port Limited and Gisborne Airport Limited.

“Eastland Group operates critical infrastructure in the region, supports local economic growth and is tasked with delivering strong returns to our sole shareholder, Eastland Community Trust,” said Keith Sutton in a statement.

“The performance of Eastland Group impacts, and benefits, the entire community in a number of ways.

“The completion and commissioning of the new Te Ahi O Maui geothermal plant this year, for example, is a significant milestone for both Eastland Group and the region. It will provide long-term financial returns to ECT and the people of Tairawhiti.

“I look forward to working with the board, CEO Matt Todd and the management team on the strategic direction and future growth of this unique group of companies.”

Sutton is a professional director with a background in investment banking and corporate finance, both in New Zealand and overseas. He is an advisory board member of Te Tumu Paeroa – the Maori Trustee, a director of numerous organisations including Gough Group Limited and Wellington International Airport and is involved in a range of farming businesses in Gisborne and elsewhere.

 ECT appointed Sutton to the Eastland Group board of directors last year, along with Fiona Mules.

He replaces Nelson Cull, who stepped down at the company’s AGM last August after eight years in the position. Since then, board director Tony Gray has been interim chair.

On behalf of ECT’s trustees, ECT chairman Michael Muir welcomed Mr Sutton’s appointment.

“Keith takes the helm at an exciting point in the company’s growth and we have no doubt he will be a champion for Eastland Group and the region. We look forward to continuing the constructive relationship we have with the board, ensuring effective implementation of the company’s strategic direction and monitoring their performance – factors profoundly linked to ECT’s ability to support economic growth and provide for wider community aspirations.

“We also thank Tony Gray for taking up the role as interim chair after Nelson Cull’s retirement.”

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