Mark Cairns

With year-on-year profit gains and a top performing share price, Port of Tauranga chief executive Mark Cairns has proved a strong leader at the Bay of Plenty port.

Cairns has been chief executive since 2005 and this year presided over a 26 per cent increase in its annual net profit to a record $73.5 million, partly reflecting strong growth in freight volumes and the extra business arising from industrial action at Ports of Auckland.

Port of Tauranga, which is 55 per cent owned by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council, announced a final dividend of 27c per share, bringing the total payout to 39c per share - up 26 per cent compared with the previous year.

Cairns oversees 185 full time equivalent staff.


Originally from Hawkes Bay, Cairns is an engineer by trade and has Bachelor of Business and Master of Management degrees.

He spent many years as a civil engineer, working for Fulton Hogan and for Port of Tauranga-acquired Bay of Plenty company Owen Services before taking on the role of port chief executive in 2005.

A keen fisherman and former competitive sailor, Cairns recently said his job fulfilled a desire to work with people and make a difference.

"I love it and there's something really special about this place and the culture that exists at the port and that's not just among our own Port of Tauranga staff but everyone else who works here - it's a great community of workers."