About Us

Who We Are

Palmerston North Airport Limited is a Council Controlled Trading Organisation and limited liability company that was formed in December 1989.

The registered office of the company is Terminal Building, Palmerston North Airport, Airport Drive, Palmerston North. Palmerston North Airport Limited owns and operates Palmerston North Airport, having acquired the airport business and assets from the former joint venture of the Palmerston North City Council and the New Zealand Government in January 1990. The company has issued 9,195,000 Ordinary Shares. 5,800,000 shares which had previously been partly paid, are now fully paid up.

Since 30 November 2006, all shares are held by the Palmerston North City Council.

People of the Airport



Murray was appointed to the Board of PNAL in October 2015 and assumed the position of Chairman in December 2016. He has held senior leadership roles in diverse sectors, including as the CEO of MidCentral District Health Board, a position he held for 15 years. Murray has also developed governance experience across several organisations.


Gerard has been on the Board of PNAL since February 2008. As a former owner and director of EziBuy, Australasia’s largest catalogue retailer, Gerard is a well-known local business leader. Up until recently Gerard co-owned Max Fashions and was on the board of Tui Products. In late 2010 Gerard was appointed to one of NZ Cricket’s advisory committees to provide input on grassroots cricket. He is also on the judging panel for the Manawatū Sports Awards.


Shelly was appointed to the PNAL Board in May 2022. She is also the Chair of Horowhenua – Kapiti lines company Electra and has served on this Board for 8 years.  Shelly is a joint owner of Chartered Accountancy practice Colbert Cooper Limited, based in Levin and Waikanae.  Previous Trustee and Chair of Eastern and Central Community Trust (8 years) she has also held governance roles across a number of not-for-profit and corporate boards for over 25 years.  Shelly is a Fellow Chartered Accountant and Chartered Member of the Institute of Directors (NZ).


Chris was appointed to the PNAL Board in December 2016. Chris has over 20 years’ experience in corporate real estate, property investment, development and executive roles in public and private companies operating in New Zealand, Australia, USA and UK.
Holding a property degree from Auckland University, a Registered Valuer and member of the RICS, Chris is an Executive Director with Waitemata DHB.


Sarah was appointed to the PNAL Board in September 2021. She is the Deputy Chair of the Board for Swimming Manawatu and the General Manager at DCPower Batteries since 2009; leading the company to win multiple awards including Innovation with Talent (2020), Supreme Business of the Year (2016) and Small Business of the Year (2014) at the Westpac Manawatu Business Awards.

Sarah graduated from Massey University with a Bachelor of Business Studies before spending 7 years at Toyota New Zealand in various sales, marketing and leadership positions.

She is actively involved in the local business community and particularly passionate about growth, sustainability, people development and continuous improvement.


Chief Executive Officer BBS (Hons) MPrac.Acc. CPA

David Lanham is the Chief Executive Officer at Palmerston North Airport Limited, having held the position since April 2014.

David has extensive international aviation experience in airport management, airline network & commercial planning, and airfreight management. He also has corporate experience in retail strategy and property development, and possesses technical skills in finance & accounting. Prior to joining Palmerston North Airport David gained over 15 years of commercial aviation experience at Air New Zealand, Gulf Air (Bahrain), and as an aviation management consultant. David has worked on airline & airport assignments in Australasia, Asia, Africa, Middle East, and the South Pacific.

David’s commercial experience is supported by professional qualifications in finance and accounting. He is a certified practising accountant (CPA Australia), holds a First Class Honours degree in Finance from Massey University, Palmerston North, and a Masters in Practising Accounting from Monash University, Melbourne, Australia. 


Finance Manager

Jonathon Baker joined the team at Palmerston North Airport Limited in October 2020 as the Finance Manager. Jonathon brings over ten years of finance experience, having worked previously for Ernst & Young Auckland and Metlifecare. Jonathon also brings his aviation experience to the team, having previously worked for Air New Zealand in a number of finance roles.

As the Finance Manager, Jonathon is responsible for managing the day-to-day and strategic finance function, overseeing board reporting, financial reporting, treasury, accounts payable/receivable and corporate secretarial for the airport. He also manages key relationships, including those with our bank and auditors. Jonathon holds a Bachelor of Commerce / Bachelor of Property conjoint degree from the University of Auckland, is a Chartered Accountant and member of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand.


Commercial and Customer Experience Manager

Olivia joined the Palmerston North Airport team in March 2021. She is an experienced aviation professional, starting her career with Air New Zealand in 1999 and holding various management roles spanning commercial, airport operations and customer experience. More recently, Olivia was part of the leadership team at Queenstown Airport and prior to that at Hawke’s Bay Airport.

In her role as Commercial and Customer Experience Manager, Olivia is responsible for the aeronautical revenue and the commercial portfolio including leases and licences for the terminal, ground transport and commercial property. She will also have accountability for customer experience at the airport. Olivia gained a Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Auckland.


Capital Projects and Asset Manager

Muhammad joined the Palmerston North Airport team in November 2021. He has over 14 years of experience in the construction industry having previously worked on the MTB project in Abu Dhabi and the New Port and Drydock Development in Oman. 

He is a chartered professional engineer in New Zealand and the UK with a MSc in Environmental Engineering and Project Management from the University of Leeds. 

Muhammad’s role includes working closely on commercial developments, asset and project management here at the airport.  



Terminal and Facilities Manager

Brent Lawry joined Palmerston North Airport Limited in July 2015 and has held the role of Terminal and Facilities Manager since September 2016.

Previously, Brent had a long career with KiwiRail, holding positions within the industry including Operations Manager- Terminals and Accident Investigator. He has significant experience with logistics, and operating large teams throughout the Central North Island region. Brent also implemented a Terminal Standardisation programme nationally for KiwiRail, which refined the core business. Brent has also worked as an independent consultant for an inland port developed at Longburn. Brent holds a diploma in Front Line Management (BSB51001).


Airfield Operations Manager

Terry Cooney joined Palmerston North Airport Limited in 2017.

Terry has over 36 years’ experience within military and civil aviation industry. Twenty of those years, Terry served for the Royal New Zealand Airforce. He has extensive experience and knowledge in emergency management planning, response, command and training; external training development and delivery; safety management systems.

Terry holds a National Diploma in Airport Operations and an industry assessor to ServiceIQ and EMQUAL for Airport Operations and Airport Fire Fighting. 

Terry’s role includes the management of the Rescue Fire team and airside operations. 

Terminal & Operations Officer

This is a vital role within the terminal and facilities team to ensure the safe, secure and efficient flow of passengers and visitors through the Airport.  The Terminal and Operations Office is responsible for maintaining the security of the terminal and surroundings areas, coordinating operations in the car park areas of the airport, assisting in contractor inductions and providing consistent professional customer service.

For more information, please feel free to contact Cushla Brasell on 06 280 2402 and apply online https://www.pnpersonnel.co.nz/jobs/154

Rescue Fire Officer

Rescue Fire team provide a critical first-response function for on-airport emergencies. The team is also responsible for undertaking wildlife management, airfield inspections, works supervision, security surveillance and response to medical emergencies within the terminal.

For more information, please feel free to contact Cushla Brasell on 06 280 2402 and apply online https://www.pnpersonnel.co.nz/jobs/170 


Health, safety and wellbeing

Creating the right culture

At the Palmerston North Airport, we place great importance on the health, safety and wellbeing of our customers, tenants and staff. It is part of our culture where all aerodrome partners are committed to maintaining a healthy and safe environment.

Our safety management system and safety and wellness committee enable our staff to be part of developing and maintaining functional safety systems.

Our goal is zero harm by creating a culture that instinctively identifies safety issues as part of the normal process.

Airport History


Latest news

There’s so much we love to share about our airport. Here you can check out our latest news and browse all of our media releases.

The Legend of Hau

The City of Palmerston North stands at the centre of the Manawatū, a region named after the powerful Manawatū River. The river and many other waterways and geographical features within the lower North Island take their names from the pūrākau (story) of Haunui-a-Nanaia, a story of the people of Whanganui, Rangitikei, Manawatu and Wairarapa. The story is said to have been composed by chief Te Rangitakoru as an oriori (“lullaby”) for his daughter. The lullaby is well known and was sung as a means of passing onto tamariki (“children”) information about the area in which they lived and the names of the major geographical features.

There are many versions of the Legend of Haunui, however the general story remains the same.

After consultation with Rangitāne kaumatua the pūrākau of Haunui-a-Nanaia has been adopted by Palmerston North Airport as a means of defining our sense of place, an airport at the cross roads of a region which extends from Ruapehu in the north, through Whanganui, Rangitikei, the Manawatu, to Horowhenua in the South and across to Wairarapa and then north to Tararua and Southern Hawkes Bay.  Rivers and waterways served as major transport routes for local Maori historically, and today the airport has assumed a similar role, facilitating transport for modern waka in the form of aeroplanes. The adoption of the pūrākau is also the airports way of recognising tangata whenua from the wide region we proudly serve.

Haunui’s father was Chief Popoto, the grandson of the famous explorer Kupe. Popoto was among the early arrivals to Aotearoa travelling on the Kurahaupo waka along with the great chief Whatonga and other chiefs.  Chief Popoto settled in Mahia and married Nanaia, they had many children, including Haunui, who in his adult life became a Tohunga or high priest, Haunui later married Wairaka.

Upon his return from a trip to Hawaiki Haunui discovered that Wairaka had been abducted by a man named Weku.  Haunui set out on a journey south to find Wairaka. He crossed a wide expansive river mouth and named it Whanganui (“Whanga – harbour, Nui – large”).  Haunui soon afterwards came across another river, so close to Whanganui that he could almost splash water from one river to the other, he named this river Whangaehu (“Whanga – harbour, ehu – to bail or splash”).

He faced a dilemma at the next river, for it had steep sides making it difficult to cross. Haunui felled a dead tree and placed it across the river to form a bridge over which he climbed.  He named this river Turakina (“to throw down”).

After resting overnight Haunui continued his journey south, however he made slow progress because of the rough terrain. He was very tired after a long day of walking when he came across the next river and so he rested. He named this river Rangitikei (“Rangi – day, tikei – walking or plodding”).

The next river was immense in width and depth and caused Haunui to lose his breath as he considered how to cross it, he named this river Manawatū (“Manawa – breath, tū – to stop or halt”). Further south Haunui heard a sound like that of a Hokio, a now extinct nocturnal bird. He named this place Hokio after the bird. After resting here overnight Haunui rose before daybreak and continued his journey south coming across a river he named Ao Ohau (“The daybreak of Hau”).

Haunui waded across the next river using his pou (walking stick) for balance, he named this river Aotaki (“Ao – day, taki – to cross with the assistance of a walking stick”). It was another long day with still no sign of the Wairaka and Weku, Haunui stopped on the banks of a little stream to say a Karakia, he named this place Waimeha (“to be weary or tired”).

Haunui continued along the shore and as he approached another river he came across footprints in the wet sand, he knew that Wairaka, and her abductor Weku must be close. Haunui crossed the river cautiously looking from side to side as he slowly crossed the river. Haunui named this river Waikanae (“Wai – water, Kanae – to stare wildly”).

Haunui’s perseverance was rewarded when he came across Wairaka and Weku in a cave at Paekakariki (“the assembly place of the green parrot”). Weku was swiftly dispatched. Haunui, using his powers as a Tohunga turned Wairaka into stone as she waded into the sea. Wairaka remains there today, a rock known as Wairaka rock located at the southern end of Pukerua Bay.

After taking revenge Haunui chose to return to his village via the eastern side of the North Island. Ahead of Haunui was a large mountain, he climbed the mountain and sat on the top to rest and named this Remutaka (“to sit down”). While resting Haunui caught sight of the sun reflecting spectacularly off the waters of a large lake located in a valley to the east, this caused his eyes to water.  Haunui named the lake Wairarapa (“glistening waters”).

Looking further north through the valley Haunui sighted a high mountain standing tall and alone above the native forest. Haunui used the mountain as a guide in his trek northwards and named it Rangitumau (“standing up to the sky”). Haunui made his way down to the floor of the valley and still travelling north he came across a stream and a whare, the walls and roof of which were thatched with nikau palms. Haunui named this river Tauwharenikau (“the house made of nikau”).

At the next river crossing Haunui rested, as he looked into the waters he imagined he could see Wairaka’s face, which made him sad. Haunui named this river Wai o Hine Wairaka (“tears for Wairaka”). After travelling further north over the Taratahi plain Haunui came to a wider river, with many different courses and bends, which he called Waiawangawanga (“troubled or uncertain water”), today this river is known as Waingawa.

At the next river he tested the water depth with his pou and gave it the name Waipoua (“Wai – water, pou – walking stick”). The final river named by Haunui on his trek was Ruamahanga (“twin forks”) referring to the many tributaries that join the river or to a bird snare that Haunui found placed in the fork of a tree on the river bank.

The murals and carvings proudly displayed within the arrivals and departure areas of the Palmerston North Airport terminal have been created by artists of Rangitāne descent. Each provides a unique visual reference to the Legend of Haunui-a-Nanaia, ancestors with significance to all regional iwi, and to the rivers, mountains, forest flora and bird life of our wider region. Reference is also made to the role of the airport as a gathering place and facilitator of the flow of our people, both locals and visitors alike.



Tohunga Whakairo Warren Warbrick (Te Awe Awe)
Rangitāne (Ngāti Hineaute, Ngāti Te Rangitepaia)
Ngati Kauwhata
Te Arawa (Te Rangitihi, Ngāti Whakaue, Tūhourangi)

Male and female huia mated for life, with one not being able to survive without the other. In the same way, when Wairaka departed Haunui-a-Nanaia, there was a vital imperative for him to pursue her. In his pursuit, Haunui-a-Nanaia went about the naming of places throughout our rohe.
‘Ngā Pare Hau o te Wa’ references Haunui-a-Nanaia & Wairaka as huia, through the beak form in the manaia heads. The point at which their heads meet speaks of Te Āpiti (the Manawatū Gorge), and the serpentine movement in the work references the Manawatū river and the Ruahine and Tararua Ranges, the place where our huia were last seen, before extinction. The overall form references a peka peka, an old pounamu pendant, where one half reflects the other.



Tohunga Whakairo: Craig Kawana
Ngati Apa
Ngai Tahu

The Pare Whakairo (carved door lintel) named E Tau Nei (“To arrive”) proudly rests above the arrivals door and provides a blessing to passengers arriving at our airport and to our region. Carved from Kauri E Tau Nei features the famous explorer Kupe great grandfather of Haunui, Whatonga the captain of the waka Kurahaupo, a great ocean-going waka on which Rangitāne and other iwi traveled to Aotearoa. Haunui is featured at the left-hand side of Kupe and is depicted grasping his tongue, this is a reference to the fact that the first river named by Haunui was the Whanganui river, and reflects the local carving style. Manaia stand guard at each end of the pare protecting visitors to our airport and region. Mata Kupenga (fish nets) are depicted at the right of Whatonga and represent the fact that the airport is a gathering place for all people. A mountain range appears along the bottom of the pare and reflects Haunui’s journey south in search of his wife Wairaka.



Kereama Taepa
Te Arawa
Te Atiawa
MMVA, Toioho ki Apiti, Massey University

The Kowhaiwhai within the wind lobby is a visual representation of the rivers as named by Haunui-a-Nanaia within a Waiata Oriori of Rangitāne. Water ways are an important ecosystem in the area that grants safe passage for travelers, like those travelling through the Palmerston North Airport. Water makes its journey from the clouds, to the ranges and out to sea providing sustenance to everything living within the space between. Like birds, water acts as a mediate between two spaces – connecting the sky and the land.



Reweti Arapere
Rohe: Te Reureu, Rangitikei
Iwi: Raukawa, Tuwharetoa, Porourangi
MMVA, Toioho ki Apiti, Massey University

The heartbeat of this panorama links the cosmological journey of Haunui-a-Nanaia to the land. The artwork is about the naming of significant landmarks and travels of Haunui in pursuit of his Hoa Rangatira (love) Wairaka. Points in Hau’s journey have been selected as landmarks within the panorama. From the left: Whanganui, Rangitikei, Manawatu, and Wairarapa. Personified by Tiki (the human form) these ancestral figures cover the Palmerston North Airports main catchment areas. The journey of Hau acknowledges the Mana Whenua that reside as caretakers along their banks, valleys and rivers. Modern iconography has been incorporated into the designs like sneakers, pilot hats and aircraft to symbolise leaping into the future with an appreciation for the past.


Carbon Emissions

We recently succeeded in our second step towards carbon neutrality, gaining Level 2 of the internationally recognised Airport Carbon Accreditation programme.

The programme independently assesses and recognises the efforts of airports to manage and reduce carbon emissions through 6 levels of certification – Mapping, Reduction, Optimisation, Neutrality, Transformation and Transition.

With the reduction stage now complete, the focus moves to optimisation and neutrality.  Palmerston North Airport Ltd (PNAL) recognises that all areas of its operations consume energy and the Airport is committed to doing all it can to minimise its impact on the environment by reducing its carbon emissions and energy consumption. This can only be achieved through long term planning, with a focus on continual improvement to achieve these aims.

We are currently in the process of establishing a Carbon Management Plan detailing how Palmerston North Airport Ltd. will achieve the six levels of ACA accreditation and ultimately carbon neutrality.

About Airport Carbon Accreditation

ACI launched the Airport Carbon Accreditation in 2009 after member airports adopted a landmark resolution on Climate Change to reduce carbon emissions from their operations with the ultimate goal of becoming carbon neutral.

Airport Carbon Accreditation is an independent, voluntary programme administered by WSP, an international consultancy appointed by ACI EUROPE to enforce the accreditation criteria for airports on an annual basis.

Airports applying to become accredited must have their carbon footprints independently verified in accordance with ISO14064 (Greenhouse Gas Accounting). Evidence of this must be provided to the programme administrator (WSP) together with all claims regarding carbon management processes which must also be independently verified.

The definitions of emissions footprints used by Airport Carbon Accreditation follow the principles of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and the World Resources Institute (WRI) “Greenhouse Gas Protocol” Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard. When considering the emissions from aircraft within the airport perimeter and on final approach and initial departure, Airport Carbon Accreditation uses the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO) definition of the Landing-Take Off cycle and requires airports to comply with these definitions.

Giving Back

Community Engagement

Fly Palmy are big believers in contributing to the wellbeing of communities and people. We love supporting organisations who are doing great work, in alignment with our company goals and values. One of the ways we do this is by supporting a range of events and organisations through sponsorship.

We support the following organisations and charities:

Just Zilch

Just Zilch is a food rescue operation that has spent a decade helping families put food on their table. Fly Palmy are Gold Sponsors of Just Zilch. We believe that this organisation is an excellent example of going above and beyond every day to support our communities.

Find out more

Wildbase Hospital

Wildbase is a national wildlife hospital dedicated to caring for sick and injured native wildlife, providing medical and surgical care. Fly Palmy support this fantastic organisation by supplying them with a leased vehicle to transport and assist in returning recovered animals back to the wild.

Find out more

Te Rangimarie Marae

Te Rangimarie marae at Rangiotū was built in 1858. In recent years, the marae has offered programmes for schools, telling its own story and others bearing on the Māori history of Manawatū. Fly Palmy have sponsored a barbeque seating area and outdoor umbrellas for all to enjoy at the Marae.


Fly Palmy Arena

Fly Palmy Arena is a purpose-built indoor sports and entertainment venue that can accommodate up to 5,000 people. Fly Palmy sponsor this venue that is host to a number of sporting, cultural and lifestyle events throughout the year.

Find out more

Centrepoint Theatre

Since 1974, Centrepoint Theatre has built its reputation on delivering outstanding theatre designed to challenge, inspire and entertain audiences. Fly Palmy are silver sponsors of Centrepoint Theatre that secures the future for the region’s only professional theatre.

Find out more




Bernie – The Fly Palmy Mascot

Bernie is a Saint Bernard dog. He is the cheerleader, communicator and connector for the Fly Palmy brand and loves meeting everyone in the community, big and small.

Tiaki Promise

Tiaki – Care For People, Place & Culture 

The Tiaki Promise is a commitment to care for New Zealand, for now and for future generations.

New Zealand is precious, and everyone who lives and travels here has a responsibility to look after it. By following the Tiaki Promise, you are making a commitment to New Zealand. To act as a guardian, protecting and preserving our home.

Nau mai, haere mai ki Aotearoa. 

About the region


From exploring the great outdoors to discovering local artwork, the Manawatu is ready to show what it’s made of, from the wild west coast beaches to the stunning native bush of the Ruahine Ranges. You can hit the ground running on one of the many cycling, mountain biking or walking tracks, and even the most avid adrenaline junkie will be satisfied with bungy jumping, white water rafting and kite surfing on offer.

The region is dotted with galleries and historical collections waiting to be discovered and explored, while country pubs, boutique shops and rambling gardens offer something for everyone. A year-round calendar of events from motorsport, to urban festivals and music keeps the city humming.

An internationally recognised theatre scene provides entertainment of all genres, while the local music scene thrives with a mixture of mainstream and ‘underground’ venues that cater to wide and varied tastes.

Student life is very much alive in Palmy thanks to Massey University, UCOL and the International Pacific University (IPU).

Find out more


Whanganui is steeped in history, art and culture, and surrounded by mountains, a beautiful natural landscape, dramatic west coast beaches and unspoilt native bush for tramping and wilderness trips. The vibrant community is justly proud of its parks and reserves, cycle and walk-ways and abundant creativity. Home to over 400 resident artists, more than 15 galleries are open year-round to delight and inspire visitors. Don’t be surprised to find an immediate sense of connection, an unexpected little slice of heaven, and a genuine quality of New Zealand. Enjoy our manaakitanga – our legendary hospitality.

Find out more.


With unspoilt sandy beaches, melting ocean sunsets, expansive green landscapes and friendly people, the Horowhenua District is the perfect place to enjoy the real Kiwi experience.

Bordered by the mighty Tararua Ranges to the east and the beaches of the Tasman Sea to the west, you’ll find miles of farmland, bushwalks, gardens, rivers, lakes, parks and reserves as well as diverse cultures and history.

Find out more.


The Wairarapa is a peaceful retreat from city life only 1-¼ hour’s drive from Palmerston North airport. It features the wine village of Martinborough, the boutique shopping village of Greytown, the quaint townships of Carterton and Featherston, and family friendly Masterton with its beautiful QE Park. There is also a thriving cafe scene, art and culture, a beautiful and at times dramatic coastline, and many nature walks. The Wairarapa is at the heart of the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail, produces boutique food and is home to a section of the Rimutaka Cycle Trail, a ‘Great Ride’ on Nga Haerenga, the New Zealand Cycle Trail.

Find out more.


Think of rugged ranges and bush-clad valleys, untouched remote coastline and sandy beaches. Cast your eye over sparkling rivers with some of the best brown trout fishing in the country; add a rich pioneering and Maori heritage, fertile pastures and a vibrant economy in the real heartland of the nation. Discover our promise to you, Tararua Country, a natural and genuine New Zealand experience with more to enjoy than you ever thought possible!

Find out more.


Home to both the Tongariro and Whanganui National Parks, the Ruapehu region is one of New Zealand’s premier outdoor destinations. The Tongariro National Park is a dual World heritage area encompassing the North Island’s premier ski-fields and one of the country’s iconic hikes, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, with beech forests, tussock, alpine flora, and astounding volcanic features. The thrilling white-water rapids of the Whanganui River and the surrounding Whanganui National Park, with its expansive natural scenery are only part of what this wonderfully ancient playground has to offer.

Find out more.


This unique landscape of deep gorges carved out by the Rangitikei River is a fantastic environment for adventure and activity. What would you like to do?  Push your limits with a bungy jump? Experience the exhilaration of rafting on bubbling pure waters? Or how about getting back to your roots with an authentic farming activity?  Take advantage of the many opportunities to walk, horse ride, fish, cycle, or play golf in quiet spaces surrounded by native bush in a truly natural environment.

Find out more.

24/7 General Enquiries

06 351 4415

Palmerston North Airport
Airport Drive, Palmerston North 4442 NEW ZEALAND

PO Box 4384,
Palmerston North 4442