Auckland Council has appointed Graeme Stephens as a new director to the board of its council-controlled organisation, Tātaki Auckland Unlimited.

The council sought candidates who would be able to add strong commercial and strategic skillsets and an understanding of the visitor economy to the board. 

Councillor Angela Dalton represented the Appointments and Performance Review Committee (APR) on the interview panel and welcomes the new appointment.

"Graeme is well placed to provide the skills and insights sought for the Tātaki Auckland Unlimited board from his experience at SkyCity and other tourism and leisure sector roles. There was a strong field of candidates, but Graeme was a clear leader and the interview panel was unanimous in recommending his appointment. His skills will be of great value to the board and to Auckland as the tourism sector rebuilds," says Cr Dalton.

Graeme's appointment was approved by the APR committee in August. The APR is responsible for all appointments to the boards of council-controlled organisations, in accordance with the council’s Appointment and Remuneration Policy for Board Members and the Local Government Act. 


About Graeme Stephens 

Graeme Stephens qualified in South Africa as a Chartered Accountant and spent ten years working as an investment banker based in Johannesburg. He focused on the tourism and leisure industry and ultimately joined and led the new business development initiatives at Kerzner International, a developer and operator of destination resorts, listed in New York. He worked on a number of large resort and hotel development projects around the world leading to his appointment as Chief Executive of Sun International, a gaming, hospitality and entertainment group listed in Johannesburg, with properties in Africa and Latin America. In late 2016 he accepted the position of Chief Executive of SkyCity (listed in New Zealand and Australia) and relocated to Auckland with his family. He retired from his executive role towards the end of 2020 but continues to live in Auckland, a city which he and the family love and see as their permanent home.

With 25 years of experience in the tourism, leisure and entertainment industry, Graeme naturally gravitates to roles in this space. In September 2021 he became a non-executive director of NZ Hotel Holdings, a portfolio of hotels owned by a partnership between the New Zealand Super Fund, the Russell Property Group and Lockwood Property Group.