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Our people

Our Chief Executive 

Audrey Sonerson, Secretary for Transport and Chief Executive


Audrey joined Te Manatū Waka as Chief Executive and Secretary for Transport in December 2022. She is an experienced public service leader, having held senior roles at New Zealand Police, The Treasury and Ministry of Justice.

Prior to joining Te Manatū Waka Audrey was Deputy Chief Executive, People and Operations at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. 

Audrey has a strong background in strategy, policy, regulation and monitoring and has led major projects and investment across several sectors. She has vast experience in policy leadership, sector leadership and organisational leadership.  

Audrey has a Master’s degree in Economics from Victoria University of Wellington.

Chief Executive’s expenses

We publish spreadsheets showing the Chief Executive's business expenses, gifts and hospitality over NZD $50.

Chief Executive’s expenses (external link)

Our Senior Leadership Team

David Wood, Deputy Chief Executive, Investment and Monitoring Group

David is an experienced public sector leader and has been at Te Manatū Waka since June 2023.

Prior to joining the Ministry he held senior executive roles at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Treasury, and in the health sector. David has also held leadership roles at Auckland Council, United Kingdom local government, and the Ministry of Education.

David has a strong background in strategy, policy and commercial operations.

The Investment and Monitoring Group’s functions include Auckland infrastructure projects and Auckland Light Rail, Crown entity monitoring, investment, major projects, programme monitoring and investment management and revenue.

Paul O’Connell, Deputy Chief Executive, Sector Strategy Group

Paul joined Te Manatū Waka in November 2023 from the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet where he led the Strategy Unit since December 2019.

Over the course of his career, Paul has worked in multiple public service roles including as Executive Director at the Social Investment Agency.

Paul has a bachelor’s degree in English and an Honours degree in Diplomacy and International Relations from the University of Canterbury, and a Postgraduate Certificate in Public Policy from Victoria University of Wellington.

The Sector Strategy Group’s functions include economics, insight, data and evaluations, national transport modelling and strategy.

Siobhan Routledge, Deputy Chief Executive (Acting), Policy Group

Siobhan has been at Te Manatū Waka since 2017. She is an experienced public sector leader, having worked in the Ministries of Business, Innovation and Employment, Economic Development and the Department of Labour in a variety of economic facing policy areas including industry and regional development, innovation, accident compensation, employment and labour markets. 

Siobhan leads the Policy Group which is responsible for leading our advice on policy priorities. This includes advice on New Zealand’s freight and passenger rail system, freight and supply chain performance, Emissions Reduction Plan 2 development, urban development, public transport and policies to support improved environmental outcomes and climate change adaptation.

Carmen Mak, Deputy Chief Executive (Acting), Corporate Services

Carmen has been at Te Manatū Waka since February 2022.

Carmen is an experienced public sector practitioner, having worked in economic, trade and international policy roles in the Treasury, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), and at APEC. She has also had experience in leading the national standards body as an independent business unit within MBIE.

As the Deputy Chief Executive Corporate Services, Carmen leads the corporate functions that enable Te Manatū Waka to operate efficiently. These include accountability and correspondence, engagement and communications, human resources, business enablement and support and the programme management office

Brent Johnston, Chief of Staff, Office of the Chief Executive

Brent was appointed Chief of Staff in June 2023 and works closely with our Chief Executive and Senior Leadership Team to guide the strategic priorities of Te Manatū Waka.

Brent brings considerable experience in leadership, strategic planning and regulatory policy through his 15-year tenure at Te Manatū Waka. Brent has held leadership roles in land transport safety and public transport policy, including the development of Road to Zero.

As part of his role, Brent is responsible for finance, the kaupapa Māori unit, supporting Ministers’ offices and overseeing internal leadership and governance.


Our Ministers

Hon Simeon Brown – Minister of Transport (external link)

Hon Matt Doocey – Associate Minister of Transport (external link)

You can find the ministers contact details on our website.

Contact us 

You can find more information about transport portfolio, including speeches, press releases and links to the ministers’ profiles on the Beehive website.

Transport portfolio(external link)