Air New Zealand Board

Below are profiles of Air New Zealand's Directors.

On this page you will also find Air New Zealand's Board Charter, information about independence of Directors and nomination and selection information.

Also see our board committees.


Dame Therese Walsh DNZM, BCA, FCA

Independent Non-Executive Director (Appointed 1 May 2016)

Dame Therese Walsh is an independent director and Chair of Air New Zealand Ltd. She is also the Chair of ASB Bank Ltd., Chair of the Chapter Zero NZ steering group and a Director of Antarctica New Zealand.

Previously she was the Head of New Zealand for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, and the Chief Operating Officer for Rugby New Zealand 2011 Ltd.

She has also been Chair of TVNZ Ltd., Pro Chancellor of Victoria University Wellington, a Director of NZX Ltd., Contact Energy Ltd., NZ Cricket and Save the Children NZ, Trustee of the Wellington Regional Stadium, Chief Financial Officer at the New Zealand Rugby Union and part of the team that worked on the winning bid to host Rugby World Cup 2011. Prior to this she was an auditor at KPMG.

Dame Therese is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and a commerce graduate from Victoria University. In 2013, she was named the inaugural supreme winner of the Women of Influence Awards and was awarded a Sir Peter Blake Trust Leadership Award in 2014. She became a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in June 2015.


Claudia Batten

Independent Non-Executive Director (Appointed 28 October 2021)

Claudia was a founding team member of two highly successful technology ventures in the United States. The first was Massive Incorporated, an early pioneer in digital advertising which was sold to Microsoft in 2006. In 2009 she co-founded Victors & Spoils, the world's first advertising agency built on the principles of crowdsourcing.

Claudia currently is Chairperson of NZX and ASX listed digital travel company Serko, a Director of NZX and ASX listed Vista Group and she is the digital advisor to the board of Westpac New Zealand. Claudia graduated Victoria University of Wellington in 1998 with degrees in Law (Hons) and Commerce, starting her career at Russell McVeagh Wellington.

Claudia participates regularly across the international entrepreneurial space as an advisor and a very active mentor. She has been awarded multiple awards for her work supporting the New Zealand technology sector including the prestigious KEA World Class New Zealander Supreme Award; a distinguished Alumni Award from Victoria University; Next's Woman of the Year in 2015; a Sir Peter Blake Leadership award in 2016; the Outstanding Contribution award to Technology & Business at the 2017 CIO Awards; and was named 2018's Flying Kiwi at the New Zealand Hi-Tech Award.


Dean Bracewell

Independent Non-Executive Director (Appointed 20 April 2020)

Dean has significant experience in the freight and logistics industry, with the majority of his career spent at Freightways Limited (Freightways) where he held a number of senior leadership and Executive roles, including most recently as Managing Director from 1999 to 2017.

During his over 30-year career at Freightways he led the business through its successful initial public offering in 2003 and as it diversified its business and extended its geographical footprint into Australia.

Dean is a Director of Tainui Group Holdings Limited, Property for Industry Limited, Port of Tauranga Limited and the Halberg Foundation. He was a director of the public policy think tank The New Zealand Initiative and its predecessor the New Zealand Business Roundtable from 2011 to 2015.

Dean is of Ngāti Maniapoto and Ngāi Te Rangi descent.


Laurissa Cooney BMS (Hons), FCA, CMinstD

Independent Non-Executive Director (Appointed 1 October 2019)

Laurissa is a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants, and a Chartered Member of the Institute of Directors in New Zealand. She has previously held senior manager, auditing and consulting roles with Deloitte in New Zealand and Deloitte Touche in London and was the Chief Financial Officer for Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi.

Laurissa currently serves as an Independent Non-Executive Director for Goodman Property Ltd, Accordant Group Ltd and Aotearoa Circle and Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee of the Charitable Investment Trust for Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki. She also holds a role as co-chair for the Tourism Industry Transformation Plan for the environment with MBIE. Laurissa is also a Committee Member of the Chapter Zero NZ Steering Group and was a 2017 recipient of the Institute of Directors Emerging Director Award.

Laurissa is of Te Āti Hau Nui a Pāpā Rangi (Whanganui) descent.


Larry De Shon

Independent Non-Executive Director (Appointed 20 April 2020)

Larry has more than 40 years' experience in the Aviation and transportation industries.

Prior to joining Air New Zealand's Board in April 2020, he was Chief Executive Officer of Avis Budget Group Inc where he was responsible for more than 30,000 employees globally.

He also spent 28 years with United Airlines where he held a number of Executive roles across key business areas such as Airport Operations, Marketing and On-Board Service. During his time as the head of United's worldwide Airport Operations, he oversaw the airline's ground operations, logistics, safety, customer service, product development and internal communications teams.

Larry is a non-executive director for The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc, a US-based Fortune 500 investment and insurance company, where he serves on the board's Audit Committee, the Finance, Investment and Risk Management Committee as well as their Nomination and Governance Committee.

Larry is a non-executive director for United Rentals Inc, the largest equipment rental company in the world where he serves on the board's Strategy Committee, and the Nomination and Governance Committee.

Larry has bachelor's degrees in both communications and sociology from the University of Missouri.



Alison Gerry

Independent Non-Executive Director (Appointed 28 October 2021)

Alison is an independent director with deep experience in the financial services and infrastructure sectors. Alison is Chair of Sharesies, a director of Infratil and ANZ Bank New Zealand. She is also former Deputy Chair of Kiwibank and a former director of Spark, TVNZ, NZX, Queenstown Airport and Wellington Airport.

Alison has more than 20 years' executive experience working for both corporates and for financial institutions in Australasia, Asia and London in trading, finance and risk roles. Her last executive role was at Lion in Sydney as Group Treasurer. Alison was also a Visiting Fellow at Macquarie University for 12 years teaching on the Masters of Applied Finance programme.

Alison has a Masters of Applied Finance from Macquarie University and a Bachelor of Management Studies from Waikato University. She is a Fellow of INFINZ and Fellow of the Institute of Directors.


Paul Goulter LLB, MA (Hons)

Independent Non-Executive Director (Appointed 28 October 2021)

Paul Goulter has an extensive career in the union trade movement.  He is currently the CEO of the New Zealand Nurses Organisation|Tōpūtanga Tapuhi Kaitiaki o Aotearoa, New Zealand's largest health union.  Prior to this, Paul was the National Secretary of NZEI Te Riu Roa, the principal, teacher and school support staff union.

Paul spent 20 years in the finance sector union, Finsec (now First Union), including nine years as General Secretary, followed by three years as Secretary of the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions (CTU).  He has also worked in Australia as the Director of the Australian Council of Trade Unions' Education and Campaign Centre.

Paul served on the Board of the Cooperative Bank for 12 years. During his time on the Board he held a variety of roles, including Deputy Chair for six years and Chair of the Board's People and Culture Board for eight years.