After eight years as chairman of Eastland Group - the Gisborne-based infrastructure company that runs Eastland Network, Eastland Port, Gisborne Airport and Eastland Generation - Nelson Cull officially stepped down at the AGM yesterday. At the same time, director Tony Gray formally accepted the position of interim chairman.
Eastland Group chief executive Matt Todd thanked Mr Cull for his huge contribution to the company, and welcomed Mr Gray to his new role.
"Tony has been a director of Eastland Group for the past four years and is chair of the audit and finance committee. As such, he has an in-depth understanding of the operations, challenges and opportunities of our various businesses.
"His breadth of expertise - in the finance, infrastructure and electricity sectors in particular - is of enormous value. His governance experience is also highly regarded. Tony is the ideal choice to lead the board at this time."
Mr Gray was the chief financial officer at Mighty River Power (for seven years) and TVNZ (12 years), and has also held executive roles with Hastings District Council and Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu.
He has been on the boards of numerous companies, including CLEAR Communications and Sky Network Television Ltd, and currently holds a number of directorships.
"This is an important year for Eastland Group as it continues to experience strong growth and has a number of major projects in progress," said Mr Gray. "These include the new Te Ahi O Maui geothermal plant, Electric Village and the port's twin berth development.
"It has been a privilege to work alongside Nelson, the rest of the board, Matt and the Eastland Group leadership team over the last few years. I look forward to chairing the board during this period of expansion."
As the sole shareholder, Eastland Community Trust is responsible for appointing Eastland Group's board of independent directors.
"With Nelson Cull not seeking reappointment and the company continuing to grow, it is an appropriate time for the trust to undertake a review of the board's make-up and composition. We expect to have the review and appointment process completed in October or November," said ECT chairman Michael Muir.