The team

BARNZ team

Cath O'Brien

Executive Director

Cath leads the BARNZ team as they advocate on behalf of their members on policy, regulatory and operational matters affecting the airline industry. A passionate advocate, Cath is driven to achieve best settings for aviation recovery in New Zealand. 

As an aviation professional, Cath is able to understand the needs of BARNZ members, and to leverage strong relationships across airports and government agencies to broker successful outcomes. Her regulatory background in both aviation and energy means she is well placed to advocate for members affected by prices set by regulated airports.

Before joining BARNZ in August 2022, Cath spent five years at Air New Zealand, most recently as Head of Regulatory Affairs. In this role, Cath advocated for legislative change to ensure sustainable aviation settings, and represented the airline in reviews of airport pricing. During the response to Covid-19, Cath worked closely with government agencies to ensure Air New Zealand’s leadership was well advised as they navigated the pandemic response.

Cath is well connected to industry groups beyond New Zealand, enjoying good relationships with international industry bodies such as IATA. She has previously been a board member for Airlines for Australia and New Zealand (A4ANZ). 

Cath has a Masters degree in Art History from the University of Auckland, and has undertaken executive education at the London School of Economics and Politics, and at Harvard University in Boston Massachusetts.

Patrick Whelan

Aviation Development Manager

Prior to joining BARNZ as their Aviation Development Manager, Patrick lead the Corporate & Government Sales Team at Qantas where he was responsible for all Commercial and Government relations activities throughout New Zealand.

Patrick has significant airline experience in both Commercial and Operational roles including  regional and airport management roles. 

Patrick spent six years based on the east coast of the USA where he held Sales and Marketing positions at American Airlines and Marriott Hotels.

Executive Committee

Mat Bolland

BARNZ President / Chief Corporate Affairs Officer at Air New Zealand

Mat Bolland is the Chief Corporate Affairs Officer at Air New Zealand, overseeing the airline’s government and regional affairs, regulatory, communications and cultural affairs functions.  Joining the airline in May 2021, Mat’s corporate affairs career spans 25 years across the energy, water and telecommunications industries.

Prior to joining Air New Zealand, Mat spent 11 years with mobile operator 2degrees as it grew from start-up into a profitable national infrastructure operator. During that time, he led the corporate affairs, regulatory and commercial wholesale teams and served as a board member on the Telecommunications Forum, the industry’s advocacy and self-regulatory body.

Mat has led organisations through periods of crisis, organisational change and rapid growth, developing and strengthening the reputation of some of New Zealand’s best-known organisations.

With a background in journalism, Mat is also a Fellow of the Public Relations Institute of New Zealand.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chris Lethbridge

BARNZ Vice-President / New Zealand Regional Manager, Emirates

Chris joined Emirates as in 1997 as Manager New Zealand and Pacific Islands. In 2003 he oversaw the start of Emirates services to New Zealand. He has 24 years’ experience in the airline industry, prior to his current role as Regional Manager New Zealand for Emirates Chris held senior roles at Malaysia Airlines and Thai international. Chris also holds a private pilot licence.

Anna Pritchard

Executive Manager, Government, Industry & Competition
Qantas Airways

Anna has been with the Qantas Group since 2010. She is a regulatory lawyer by training and since coming to Qantas has held roles across the Legal, Commercial and Government teams in Australia and overseas.  Prior to her current role, Anna was Qantas’ Regional General Manager for the UK, Europe, Middle East, India and Africa, based in London. 

Before this she was Qantas’ Head of Legal and Assistant Company Secretary, heading teams responsible for providing strategic competition and regulatory advice, oversight and compliance, engaging with key regulators and managing litigation and dispute resolution and corporate governance across the Qantas Group.  Prior to joining Qantas, Anna worked at in private legal practice at Allens and the Australian Government Solicitor.

 

George Robertson

General Manager NZ, Singapore Airlines

George joined Singapore Airlines in September 2008. He has held several roles across the airline’s international network including the airline’s head office in Singapore.

George began his career with Singapore Airlines in its UK & Europe office overseeing several commercial roles before transferring to Singapore where he worked in revenue management and regional marketing. Subsequently, George has managed the airline’s operations across Gujarat (India) and Bangladesh as General Manager prior to assuming the role of General Manager New Zealand in October 2021.

As country head, in addition to Auckland, George is also responsible for operations in Christchurch.

Chris Paykel

Country Manager New Zealand, QATAR Airways

Chris is Country Manager New Zealand for Qatar Airways, responsible for steering the strategic and commercial aspects of Qatar Airways’ business from its local office based in Auckland. An industry veteran, he brings with him over 25 years of experience in the aviation, travel and tourism sectors, along with extensive global knowledge.  Prior to joining Qatar Airways, Chris led the national sales operations at Emirates in New Zealand, managing the airline’s corporate, trade and government agency relationships.

His previous roles have seen him working across London, San Antonio, Boston, Boca Raton, Sydney and Auckland, at major brands including Carlson Wagonlit, South Pacific Hotels and Laquinta Suites.

Chris is member of the New Zealand Institute of Directors and sits as a trustee the Joyce Fisher Charitable Trust, Ipiriri Nature Conservatory Trust and is as an Executive Committee member of the New Zealand Middle East Business Council, having served as both Treasurer then Vice Chair.

Sheryn Ambler

Regional Manager, Fiji Airways

Sheryn’s airline career started with United Airlines GSA in Wellington in the 1990’s as Corporate Account Manager South Pacific.  Having taken a 10 year break from the airline industry to work on her own Corporate Catering Business she then had the opportunity to move to Fiji to work for Island Hoppers, an aviation company comprising of Helicopter, Fixed Wing and Skydiving Adventures.  

After 9 years with Island Hoppers 3 of those living in Fiji, the role with Fiji Airways came up to which Sheryn joined the national carrier in 2018.

 

Kim Rasmussen

CEO, Tasman Cargo Airlines PTY Ltd

Kim Joined Tasman Cargo Airlines (TCA) in January 2021.

At the time TCA was operating a single B767-300 Production Freighter between AKL and SYD. This has since grown to TCA now operating 3 B767-300PFs and 1 B777-200PF.

AKL and CHC in NZ as well as SYD and MEL in AU are part of the network together with SIN and HKG.

Kim has had an extensive Aviation background starting with working for SAS and DHL Aviation before joining TCA in various roles.

Kim has been based in Copenhagen, Cologne, Brussels, Singapore and most recently before moving to the TCA HQ at Sydney at Hong Kong.

Shelley Musk

Head of Jetstar New Zealand 

Shelley has been with the Qantas Group since 2005 and is currently the Head of Jetstar in New Zealand.  Since joining the Qantas Group Shelley has held a variety of position in the areas of; general airline management, operations, and Cabin Crew management. 

Prior to her current position, Shelley was the Head of Jetconnect where she was the first women in New Zealand to hold an Air Operations Certificate for a jet operation.

Before joining the Qantas Group, Shelley held a variety of positions at Air New Zealand including; marketing, revenue and pricing, product development and customer service delivery.

Shelley holds a master’s degree in Organisational Behaviour and Industrial Relations, and a post graduate diploma in Marketing from the University of Auckland.

Shelley is currently a Director of the Qantas Group subsidiaries;  Jetconnect Limited and Jetstar Airways Limited in New Zealand.