about south port

about south port

Leadership Team

South Port prides itself on delivering quality results through quality people. The port is headed up by the leadership team, who are:

Nigel Gear - Chief Executive

BCom, Dip Port Management

Nigel was appointed to the role of Chief Executive on 1 October 2017. He has 23 years’ experience in the port industry and has held positions in commercial, operations and finance at South Port. Prior to joining South Port, Nigel worked in the Meat and Oil sectors.

Geoff Finnerty - Port General Manager


Geoff originally joined the South Port Leadership team in 2004 as Finance Manager. In his current role he has responsibilities for the Company’s bulk cargo and marine activities. In his previous positions of Cargo Operations Manager and Port Operations Manager he played an important role in establishing and developing the Company’s container and dry warehouse activities. Geoff has also held positions with Goodman Fielder, Fonterra and Landbase (a Southland‑based farming cooperative).

Jamie May - Business Development Manager


Jamie was appointed to the Business Development Manager position in November 2017. Prior to his appointment, he was based in Invercargill as the Supervisor of the South Port Intermodal Freight Centre for 18 months during its opening and start‑up phase. Before this he had worked in the Marketing Analyst role based in Bluff since January 2011.

Jamie held various home and personal lending positions at The National Bank before he joined the South Port team.

Hayden Mikkelsen - Container Manager

BE (Hons)

Hayden holds a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering from Canterbury University. Hayden’s role as Container Manager for the Port sees him responsible for the overall container operation including the terminal, depot, crane and mobile plant maintenance functions. Hayden also oversees the Intermodal Freight Centre strategically located at the railhead in Invercargill.

Hayden previously worked in heavy industries in both engineering and operations at ECNZ and Ballance Agri-Nutrients before joining South Port in 2012.

Frank O’Boyle - Infrastructure Manager

BEng (Civil), MIPENZ, CPEng

Frank joined South Port as Infrastructure and Environmental Manager in January 2015. Frank is responsible for providing and maintaining the land, sea and wharf infrastructure associated with port operations. Frank is also responsible for ensuring port operational practices comply with current environmental standards.

Frank is a Civil Engineer and worked as an Engineer in Ireland and Australia before moving permanently to New Zealand in 2005.

Frank has been a member of Engineering New Zealand since 2006 and became a Chartered Professional Engineer in 2010.

Lara Stevens - Finance Manager

BCom, DipGrad, CA

As Finance Manager, a position that also incorporates the role of Company Secretary, Lara is responsible for the financial management of the Port including interim and annual reporting. She continually monitors the financial performance of the business which includes preparing the annual budget and providing regular forecasts to the Board to enable them to make informed decisions about future capital projects.

Among other things she is responsible for managing the Company’s property leases, ICT, insurance programme and NZX reporting obligations.

Lara has been with the Company since March 2007.

Prior to joining the South Port team, Lara worked for BDO Invercargill as a Senior Accountant.

Murray Wood - Warehousing Manager

Murray is the Manager of the Warehousing Division comprising both Cold and Dairy Dry Goods Storage. He started with South Port in 2016 after a 32 year career with the New Zealand Aluminium Smelter, a major processing and manufacturing plant where he held numerous operational and leadership roles.

Helen Young - Human Resources Manager


Helen has been employed at South Port since September 2015 as Human Resources Advisor and joined the Senior Management team in November 2017 as Human Resources Manager.

Helen has had a long and varied career. She graduated from the University of Canterbury with a law degree and after moving to Invercargill practiced commercial and company law for nearly twenty years. Helen then took up a position as Chief Executive of Sport Southland before returning to law, specialising in employment and human resources.