Roberts, Geoffrey Newland

Roberts Geoffrey resize

Sir Geoffrey Newland Roberts - CBE AFC LM(US)

Geoffrey Roberts, knighted in 1973 for services to aviation, is regarded as the father of Air New Zealand.

Born at Inglewood, Taranaki, he joined the Royal Air Force in 1928, serving in England and India before rejoining civilian life in 1934.

In 1946 Roberts was appointed general manager of Tasman Empire Airways (Teal), holding the post until 1958. His term was marked by strong leadership and a vision for developing a national airline.

In 1958 he joined the board of Teal (Air New Zealand from 1965), becoming deputy chairman in 1961 and chairman in 1965. a post he held until his retirement. He was also a director of the National Airways Corporation.