Congratulations to Carrie Hurihanganui: Auckland Airport’s first female CEO

Auckland Airport has announced the appointment of their first ever female chief executive: Carrie Hurihanganui. To celebrate this milestone for our Global Women Member, Carrie has shared with us her hopes for this next chapter, along with the inspiration she would share with emerging women leaders.

Carrie will depart from her current role as Chief Operating Officer at our Partners, Air New Zealand, to begin this new chapter with Auckland Airport — another Partner organisation— early next year. Her 21-year-strong career with Air New Zealand began as a flight attendant, progressing to roles as the general manager of customer experience, and group general manager of regional airlines and airline operation.

This move comes at a critical time, as Auckland Airport shifts back into gear after battling it’s way back from the pandemic. Having been a key player in the “survive and revive” part of Air New Zealand’s during and post-covid recovery, it’s clear Carrie’s expertise and experience will hold her in great stead for leading the airport into the future.

“Auckland Airport is well positioned to support NZ’s recovery efforts and I look forward to working alongside our key stakeholders to bring this to life through the safe reopening of borders,” Carrie shared in an interview with Global Women.

“With only a handful of female CEOs on the NZX50, we need to continue to advocate the equal abilities of men and women, while respecting the value of our differences” — Carrie Hurihanganui.

Also impressive in this new move, is that Carrie will become the first ever female CEO of Auckland Airport. “I am delighted to lead such a key NZ company. With only a handful of female CEOs on the NZX50, we need to continue to advocate the equal abilities of men and women, while respecting the value of our differences,” Carrie shared.

When asked about the guiding principles that have shaped her career approach over the years, Carrie points to three core principles: respect is fundamental to relationships, seek to understand the whole story (so listen intently) and always do the right thing even if it’s the hardest path.”

As for the wisdom she would impart on young women wanting to follow in her footsteps? She shares to never “underestimate the power of courage, it allows you to let go and be your best self, even if it’s different to those around you.”

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