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New Zealand Cruise Association’s Kevin O’Sullivan to retire (updated)

Kevin O'Sullivan will be succeeded by current NZCA Chair Jacqui Lloyd
Kevin O’Sullivan, CEO of the New Zealand Cruise Association, will retire on June 30.

O’Sullivan, who has been on the NZCA board for 15 years, was regional harbourmaster for Environment Southland when he took up the position of CEO four and a half years ago.

Jacqui Lloyd new CEO

He will be replaced by NZCA’s current chairman, Jacqui Lloyd, who was most recently GM of Destination Marlborough.

O’Sullivan to be missed

‘Kevin will be missed immensely by all in our industry,’ former Chair Debbie Summers said.

‘He has worked tirelessly, particularly throughout our battle to restart these past years,’ she continued. ‘NZ cruise is in a better place for all his efforts.

‘As chair I particularly appreciated Kevin’s relentless positivity and sheer determination as he liaised and negotiated with the many stakeholders required to enable the sector’s recovery post-COVID.

Perfect choice

Tansy Tompkins, NZCA’s deputy chair, said Lloyd is the ‘perfect person’ to lead the association through the next phase of the sector’s recovery.

‘Jacqui’s extensive tourism background, senior leadership experience and relationship skills will help NZCA to further develop strategic alliances, unite our sector and expand our presence on the world stage as the cruise industry rebounds,’ Tompkins said.

New role

Lloyd said she is ‘very excited’ about her new role with NZCA.

‘Largely due to the excellent leadership of Kevin O’Sullivan over the past four years, I believe the NZCA is in a brilliant position as the industry returns,’ Lloyd said.

‘I’m looking forward to working with members, stakeholders and our local communities to ensure New Zealand is both positioned as the best cruise destination for industry and that it is an industry that contributes to the economic, social, environmental and cultural well-being of New Zealand,’ she said.

Lloyd will continue as NZCA chair until she starts her new role on June 1.

She is attending Seatrade Cruise Global this week with O’Sullivan.


Tributes have been pouring in since the announcement of O’Sullivan’s retirement.

The MD of Cruise Lines International Association Australasia, Joel Katz, said O’Sullivan has been a ‘superb asset’ to the cruise industry throughout New Zealand and has played a key role in the successful revival of the country’s cruise economy.

‘He has been a passionate supporter of cruise tourism and a backer for the many thousands of New Zealanders whose livelihoods depend on cruise visitation,’ Katz said.

‘He has helped unite the New Zealand tourism industry around cruising through some of its most challenging times and has shown how communities and the cruise industry can work together to mutual benefit.'

Update adds CLIA Australasia's salute to O'Sullivan