Issue date: 
Article type: 
News from base

An update from Annette King

Dear All,                                                                                                                      

After more than two years leading us through major changes and harnessing fantastic opportunities, Ian Pirie is stepping down from his role as Life Flight Chief Executive and starting his well-deserved retirement. Ian stepped into the role in late 2016 for what was initially a three-month appointment. Fortunately for all of us he stayed well-beyond that original term. 

Ian has done an incredible job leading this organisation through a period of challenge, change and possibility. During his time as Chief Executive, Life Flight fitted-out and launched a second Air Ambulance Plane, achieved record fundraising results, was successful in a major government helicopter tender and, most importantly, helped more people than ever before.

Ian’s retirement follows a remarkably long career in many aspects of aviation, including more than 50 years of flying and 30 years in senior management roles. He says it is now time to spend more time with his wife Annie, four children and five grandchildren and to enjoy more of the Nelson sunshine.

Ian, I know I can speak for the whole organisation in saying you have made a tremendous contribution to Life Flight and we are privileged to have had you at the helm. Thank you very much for your dedication, wisdom, expertise, integrity and tireless commitment to ensuring everything possible is done to help those in need.

We are very fortunate that Ian will continue in his role as a Life Flight Trustee and he may also still fly the Air Ambulance Plane from time to time. 

After a thorough search, we are delighted to have appointed Mark Johnston to take Life Flight into the future as the new Chief Executive. 
Mark brings extensive experience as a senior executive. Originally hailing from the UK, he has more than 25 years’ of international commercial and management experience and an outstanding track record of strategic leadership. Mark holds a BA Honours degree in Business Organisation from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh and a post graduate diploma in Management Studies from Kingston University Business School in London. 

Mark is currently the Business Development Director at the Wellington Institute of Technology (WelTec) and Whitireia and prior to that held roles as Chief Executive Officer of Retail NZ, Non-Executive Director of tech start-up RewardJunkie! and Group General Manager, Fundraising, Marketing & Communications at Plunket. 

Mark lives with his partner Anna and four children in Hataitai, is a Manchester United supporter and, when on form, a 4 handicap golfer!  

He will officially take the reins on Friday 15th of March. I know he is very much looking forward to getting on-board. 

Kind regards,

Annette King