Board of directors
Chair, Independent Director, LLB, CFInstD
Mark Verbiest joined the Meridian Board in March 2017, he was appointed Chair in October 2019.
Mark is an experienced company director, currently serving on the boards of several major companies and organisations, including: ANZ Bank New Zealand Limited (Director), Freightways Limited (Chairman), and the Advisory Board to New Zealand Treasury (Member). He is also a former board member of the Financial Markets Authority and former Chairman of both Spark New Zealand Limited and Transpower New Zealand Limited.
Mark has had significant involvement and experience in the energy and technology sectors, as well the capital markets, in a variety of guises, over many years.
Deputy Chair, Independent Director, MNZM, CA (CAANZ)
Peter Wilson joined the Meridian Board in May 2011. Peter is a Chartered Accountant and business consultant, and was formerly a partner of Ernst & Young and previously Chairman of Westpac New Zealand Limited. He has extensive experience in banking, business establishment, problem resolution, asset sales and management of change functions. Peter has been involved in companies undertaking capital-raising activities and has wide-ranging governance experience in the public market, in the private sector and with Crown-owned entities.
Peter serves on the Audit and Risk Committee and the Safety & Sustainability Committee. He is currently Chair of Arvida Group Limited. Past directorships include Farmlands Co-operative Society Limited, the Colonial Motor Company Limited, and Westpac Banking Corporation.
Independent Director, CNZM, BCom, FCA (CAANZ), FINSTD
Jan Dawson joined the Meridian Board in November 2012. Jan is Chair of the People and Remuneration Committee and serves on the Audit and Risk Committee. Jan is Chair of Westpac New Zealand, Deputy Chair of Air New Zealand Limited and a director of AIG Insurance New Zealand Limited.
Jan is a professional independent director. She was previously the Chair and Chief Executive of KPMG New Zealand, following a career spanning 30 years specialising in audit and accounting services in the United Kingdom, Canada and New Zealand.
She is a Vice President of World Sailing and a Councillor of the University of Auckland. Jan was previously President of Yachting New Zealand and a director of Beca Group, Goodman Fielder Limited and Counties Manukau District Health Board.
Independent Director, BCom, FCA, CMInstD
Julia Hoare joined the Meridian board 26 September 2019. Julia is Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee.
Julia has extensive governance, financial, accounting and auditing expertise. Her executive career at PWC included significant experience in sustainability and risk management. Julia has a very strong governance pedigree and is currently a Director of a number of large New Zealand companies including Auckland International Airport, Port of Tauranga, a2 Milk, Watercare Services and AWF Madison.
In addition to significant commercial and financial experience in both the private and public sectors, Julia’s skills also span infrastructure, logistics, utilities and sustainable business practices.
Independent Director, BA, MBA, MPA (Harvard)
Anake Goodall joined the Meridian Board in May 2011 and serves on the Safety and Sustainability Committee. Anake has diverse management and governance experience, including being a union delegate in the meat industry and a founding director of the Makarewa Credit Union, holding various executive roles in community-based organisations, and being an adviser to the Government and iwi. In past executive roles he served as Chief Executive Officer of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, and before that was responsible for managing all aspects of Ngāi Tahu’s Treaty settlement process.
Anake is a past Chair of the Ākina Foundation, and Chairs the Hillary Institute of International Leadership and Seed The Change | He Kākano Hāpai. He is also a Trustee of The Gift Trust and is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Canterbury. Anake is a New Zealand Harkness Fellow
Independent Director, BE (Hons), BBS, MMGT, FIPENZ
Mark Cairns joined the Meridian Board in July 2012. Mark is Chair of the Safety & Sustainability Committee. Mark has extensive experience in infrastructure, port operations and logistics. He has been Chief Executive of NZX-listed Port of Tauranga Limited since 2005. Prior to joining Port of Tauranga Limited, he was Chief Executive of C 3 Limited (formerly Toll Owens Limited) for five years, following his role as General Manager (Central) at Fulton Hogan Limited.
Mark is Chair of Quality Marshalling (Mount Maunganui) Limited and is a director of Coda Group Limited, Northport Limited and Port of Tauranga Trustee Company Limited. Mark has also previously held director roles in PrimePort Timaru Limited, C 3 Limited and Tapper Transport Limited.
Independent Director - BE (Hons) and CMinstD
Michelle joined the Meridian board in October 2019. Michelle serves on the Safety & Sustainability Committee and the Audit and Risk Committee.
She has extensive engineering and industrial expertise, with more than 20 years of experience in the Australasian heavy industry sector. Based in Invercargill, Michelle is a former executive of Rio Tinto, both in New Zealand and Australia.
Michelle previously held the role of Chief Operating Officer of PowerNet, an electricity distribution company, leading 200 employees across risk management, health and safety, infrastructure, and operations skillsets. Michelle has experience in business delivery, process innovation, and ensuring people safety.
Independent Director, MBA, BTech CE, CMInstD
Nagaja Sanatkumar joined the Meridian Board in January 2020. Nagaja serves on the People and Remuneration Committee.
Nagaja has an impressive international career including senior roles at both Amazon and Expedia. While at Amazon, she led various facets of Online Grocery, Trade In and Rentals, which built on her expertise across retail, customer experience innovation, P&L ownership and digital technology. Nagaja studied chemical engineering at IIT Bombay and then moved to the US to take up a consulting role with Deloitte, before completing an MBA from the University of Washington.
Nagaja has over 20 years’ global executive and leadership experience. She is also a Director for New Zealand Post. Before joining the Meridian's board, Nagaja held the position of General Manager Global Digital at Icebreaker, based in Auckland.