Appointment of veteran unionist to Air NZ board “positive sign” – E tū


E tū, the largest union in Aotearoa New Zealand for aviation workers, welcomes Air New Zealand’s move to include a union voice in their latest round of board appointments.

The airline has appointed three new directors to its board, including veteran unionist Paul Goulter, who is currently the national secretary of New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI) and has many years of experience in commercial and union leadership roles, including as a director of the Co-operative Bank.

E tū head of aviation, Savage, says the addition of a union voice to the airline’s board is a positive sign.

“It signals to us that Air New Zealand is looking to rebuild better as the aviation industry slowly recovers.

“Two-thirds of its employees are union members, so collective agreements are central to the company’s success,” Savage says.

“The airline cannot function without ongoing engagement with its unionised employees.”

Savage says Paul’s appointment will build on the work that fellow unionist Ross Wilson did in his role as an advisor to the board up until now.

“There’s no doubt that the many redundancies and how they were handled have strained the company’s relationship with members during the past year.

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“However, E tū members have collectively told the company they want to have a say in the airline’s rebuild.

“They want to see a commitment from the company to being a better employer and creating decent jobs.”


  1. The “rebuild” needed for Air New Zealand is full nationalisation and public ownership–good grief, the taxpayer has bailed them out several times to the extent that we the people must surely own it by default anyway now. Budget priced regional services for people and freight, in-house maintenance rather than internationally outsourced, and limiting international “flagship” bollocks along with instituting a national coastal shipping line and expanded rail is where the Govt. should be heading.

    Mr Goulter seems a managerialist of the neo liberal era, rather than a class left fighter as far as I can detect and I have known of him for decades in and around NZ Unions. So yes always good to have workers reps on boards…but what exactly do such reps support? Commercial sensitivity and returns to shareholders or workers rights first and foremost…

  2. Agree Tiger Mountain.
    He will submit to commercial sensitivity and returns to shareholders.
    That is his governance roll.

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