Port of Tauranga's David Pilkington has been named Chairperson of the Year in the Deloitte Top 200 Business Awards.

Pilkington joined the Port of Tauranga board in July 2005 and has been chairman since 2013. Since then, Port of Tauranga has successfully completed its strategy to become "big ship capable" and is now by far New Zealand's largest port.

The company's market capitalisation has more than doubled during his tenure as chairman to more than $4.6 billion.

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Pilkington's win last night scored a hat trick for Port of Tauranga Ltd at the prestigious annual awards. Mark Cairns won the accolade for Chief Executive of the Year in 2012, while chief financial officer, Steve Gray, won CFO of the Year in 2017.

Cairns said Pilkington's win was well-deserved.

Port of Tauranga. Photo / File
Port of Tauranga. Photo / File

"I appreciate David's steady and pragmatic leadership style, as well as his deep understanding and experience in governance.

"He ensures a diverse range of opinions are heard from around the board table. His foresight has helped us stay focused on our long-term goals, while remaining flexible and responsive to our operating environment."

Cairns said Pilkington had a very direct approach and did not shy away from pulling the management team into line when he saw the need.

Pilkington was a member of Fonterra's senior executive and has a strong background in marketing, international business and supply chain logistics. He holds directorships in Port of Tauranga Trustee Company Ltd and PrimePort Timaru Ltd.

He is also chairman of Douglas Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Northport Ltd and Rangatira Ltd.