Managing our organisation is our chief executive and our executive leadership team.
Nicole Rosie joined Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency as Chief Executive (CE) in February 2020.
She is an experienced chief executive with over 20 years of experience in CE and senior management roles across the public and private sectors. This includes senior executive roles in Fonterra, KiwiRail (formerly Toll NZ), Vector and Fletcher Challenge Forests, and 3 years as Chief Executive of WorkSafe.
Nicole has led major transformation and change at national, system and organisational levels. She’s also taken leadership roles in sustainability, environment and safety throughout her career. This has included setting up a range of industry groups to support partnerships between public and private sector groups to accelerate change in these areas.
Additionally, she has served as Director of Construction Health and Safety New Zealand and Regional Velocity Implementation Manager, and was a Board Member of New Zealand Family Planning. She’s also currently a non-voting Board Member of Auckland Transport.
She holds a Master of Public Health in law and public health from Harvard University, which she attended as a Fulbright scholar, a Master of Law from Auckland University jointly supervised by the medical and law schools, and Law and Arts degrees from University of Otago.
As a fifth generation New Zealander from rural and regional Aotearoa, Nicole is passionate about making a difference. She sees the land transport system and the critical roles Waka Kotahi plays across infrastructure, regulation and safety as being at the heart of a successful Aotearoa.
Brent joined Waka Kotahi in September 2023 as Group General Manager Regulatory and Director of Land Transport.
Brent is a senior regulator with a strong commercial background and has previously worked at the Chief Executive at Mary Potter Hospice where he was responsible for managing a strategic shift in the delivery of care. He has practical experience in establishing and successfully operating regulator regimes, and has been deeply involved in all facets of regulation.
Brent holds a Master of Arts in Political Studies and a Bachelor of Arts (hons) in Economics from the University of Otago. He is passionate about improving outcomes for all New Zealanders through the regulation system.
Brett Gliddon is one of New Zealand’s foremost transport professionals, having worked in the sector for more than 20 years. He is now Group General Manager of Transport Services, the Waka Kotahi business group responsible for the planning, design, delivery and operations of New Zealand’s integrated transport system.
Brett’s background is in engineering, and he has successfully delivered projects including Tauranga Northern Link, the Northern Busway and Waterview Tunnel. He is a system leader with a focus on whole of life transport system outcomes, strategic planning and multimodal integration. He’s dedicated to engagement with iwi, the community and local government.
He is experienced in leading the establishment and delivery of diverse funding models, including Public Private Partnerships and Alliances, and is committed to driving excellence in the supply chain and improving health and safety. Brett is also passionate about environmental outcomes that can be achieved through improving the transport system.
Current areas of focus include the evolution of contracts to maintain the state highway network into an integrated delivery model, the resilience strategy for the country’s transport system and delivery of projects to improve safety and connectivity across Aotearoa New Zealand.
Chris joined Waka Kotahi in March 2023. Chris brings extensive infrastructure related public policy experience to Waka Kotahi particularly from his time at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) in relation to housing, construction, and energy.
Prior to his time at MBIE, Chris held various roles in Aotearoa New Zealand and abroad, including at the Treasury (New Zealand and United Kingdom). His time in the UK was supporting government procurement of significant Public Private Partnerships.
Karen joined Waka Kotahi in March 2020. She is passionate about working in large operational organisations and in roles that make a difference to New Zealanders. She is motivated by the Waka Kotahi mandate to keep our country moving and to reduce harm through a safer land transport network.
Karen has a strong background in central government leadership. Before joining Waka Kotahi, she was Deputy Director General People and Engagement at the Department of Conservation where she led the human resources, organisational development, health and safety, security, customer engagement and office of the executive teams.
Karen’s other previous roles include a secondment to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet as Executive Director Strategy, Governance and Engagement where she led the corporate support functions and assisted with the establishment of the new National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA). She also spent more than five years working in the executive team at NZ Police as Deputy Chief Executive Public Affairs, leading the internal and external communications, channels, media, social media, engagement and recruitment marketing functions.
Liz joined Waka Kotahi in October 2021 as Chief Digital Officer.
Liz is a seasoned leader who brings significant experience with leadership of large transformation programmes, payments and digital technology. She is the former Head of Digital and Transformation at ANZ Bank in New Zealand and was a member of ANZ NZ’s executive leadership team for 4 years.
Liz is passionate about using digital technology to improve the services we provide to New Zealand and New Zealanders.
Liz is a member of the NZ Institute of Directors and serves on the board of Education Payroll Ltd, a Crown entity. Liz has a Bachelor of Commerce in Management Studies and Labour Relations from the University of Auckland.
Richard joined Waka Kotahi in May 2018 and has served as Senior Manager Government and Deputy General Manager Te Waka Kōtuia Engagement and Partnerships. He was appointed as Chief of Staff in August 2021, and works closely with our Board, Chief Executive and Executive Leadership Team to guide the strategic priorities and partnerships of Waka Kotahi.
Prior to joining Waka Kotahi, Richard built up extensive experience in the New Zealand Parliament, spending 12 years in various roles including as a Senior Ministerial Advisor to the Minister of Transport and Defence and as Chief of Staff to a Government support partner.
Sara joined Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency in January 2023 as Group General Manager Commercial and Corporate.
Sara is an experienced finance and corporate services leader and leads our procurement and commercial, investment and finance, legal, governance, risk, enterprise change, business support and enterprise portfolio management functions.
Sara is the former Chief Financial Officer for the Wellington City Council. Before that Sara was the Executive Officer for Auckland Council and also held the Head of Financial Transformation, Head of Financial Transactions, and General Manager Procurement roles during her time there. Before Auckland Council, she was General Manager of Commercial Services at MBIE. Sara has been a board member and treasurer from early 2022, and is also a member of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply.
Sarina joined Waka Kotahi in March 2023 as Chief Customer and Services Officer.
Sarina has extensive expertise in contact centre strategy and operations and has previously worked as the General Manager ANZ Contact Centre, where she was responsible for managing 20 million customer interactions annually across multiple channels and led one of New Zealand’s largest contact centres (more than 1,000 people). She has led multiple complex organisational changes and is an experienced people leader.
Sarina holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Administration (BCA) in Marketing (Hons) and Management from the Victoria University of Wellington. She is passionate about providing great customer experience, supporting digital transformation and creating a culture where people can thrive.