04 March 2016 Invercargill Airport appoints new General Manager

Invercargill Airport Limited Chairman Mr Joe O’Connell is pleased to announce the appointment of its new General Manager, Mr Nigel Finnerty.  Nigel comes to us after 15 years in various senior management roles with New Zealand’s Aluminium Smelter (NZAS).  We are very are pleased to have Nigel on board and his expertise in the management of large infrastructural assets will be a great asset to the company.

“Being a born and bred Southlander, originally from Bluff, I am proud to be involved in the development of one of Southland’s most important infrastructural assets” says Mr Finnerty.

“The Invercargill Airport is a gateway to the region and provides the first touch point for visitors. It is empirical that their first impression is not only a well-run, stunning facility, but they can experience that great southern hospitality right from when they walk off the plane” said Mr Finnerty.

Mr Finnerty takes on this role after successfully spending over 30 years in leadership and management positions across a range of areas.

Mr Finnerty served in the Royal New Zealand Navy from 1981 to 2001 where he completed several peace keeping and Maritime support operations throughout the Persian Gulf and Indian Oceans and was awarded two New Zealand General Services Medals and a New Zealand Operational Services Medal. Upon retirement from the Navy, Mr Finnerty briefly worked as a volunteer for the Department of Conservation on the West Coast.

He returned to Southland in late 2001 and now calls Invercargill home where he resides on a lifestyle block with his wife and two children.

Mr Finnerty joined NZAS in 2001 and during his 15 year tenure gained a wealth of skills progressing through various operational and management roles, most recently holding the role of Asset Manager.

“While I am very sad to see Nigel go, I am also very proud to see him join the ranks of the other Southland business leaders whose skills and commitment to success were developed at NZAS.  I look forward to continue working with him in the wider context of Southland’s regional development,” said New Zealand Aluminium Smelters Chief Executive and GM, Gretta Stephens.

Chairman Joe O’Connell says it is the perfect time for Nigel to take on the position of General Manager as the terminal upgrade draws to a close and we look forward to the exciting future Invercargill Airport has ahead.

“Nigel is starting with the company at a time where we are receiving a lot of positive feedback resulting from the terminal redevelopment with the travelling public commenting on a daily basis how they are enjoying the modern, vibrant and exciting terminal that appropriately reflects the region that Southland is.” Mr O’Connell says.

Alongside his full-time positions at NZAS, Mr Finnerty continued his Navy commitment on a volunteer basis and was appointed Honorary Naval Officer for Southland in 2003 where he served for 10 years. He was then commissioned into the Royal New Zealand Naval Reserve as a Lieutenant Commander and was appointed the Regional Naval Officer for Southland where he remains today and represents the Chief of Navy in Southland, organises Naval ship visits to the region and supports naval activities in the community.

As a keen mountain runner, biker and climber Mr Finnerty has climbed various mountains throughout the Himalayas, summiting the 8,000 metre peak, Shishapangma, in Tibet.  He has also completed   nine Kepler Challenges and the Everest Marathon.

Nigel Finnerty will commence his role as the General Manager of Invercargill Airport in the middle of April.

For more information please contact Invercargill Airport Board Chairman, Joe O’Connell,
027 227 9201,