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Naomi Sadlier, Senior Adviser Hei Arataki Strategy, Engagement & Communications

 

 

I am passionate about creating and implementing strategy into our Ministry.

Working with the rautaki Māori strategy here at Te Manatū Waka gives me a sense of pride knowing that I am a part of a collective who continue to work towards bringing out the meaning of partnership.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Richard Kelly, Manager IT

 

What first struck me about Te Manatū Waka was its vibrant, friendly and fun culture. I find everyone very approachable and happy to help.

Along with the above, Te Manatū has a strongly engrained flexible working culture – this is important to me as a parent of young children. As a result, I feel supported to get my work done as well as to attend my kids’ sports events!

 

 

 

 

 

Joanne Leung, Chief Economist & Manager, Domain Strategy, Economics and Evaluation

 

Te Manatū Waka is the Government’s system lead for transport. Its key goal is to achieve a safe, efficient and resilient transport system that enables New Zealanders to flourish. This requires robust and evidence-based investment, policy and planning decisions.

Being the Chief Economist at Te Manatū Waka, my work involves leading the Domain Strategy, Economics and Evaluation team to support policy teams throughout the policy development lifecycle (from defining policy problems to evaluating achievement of policy outcomes). We foster greater use of evidence and analytics in policy decisions. I am proud of the team as they are smart, committed and passionate about their work. 

What I like about working at Te Manatū Waka is that it has a positive, inclusive and collaborative culture. With around 300 people, Te Manatū Waka has a relatively flat organisation structure. Everyone is invested in their work which makes it possible to deliver a large portfolio of quality work for our size.

You will never get bored working at Te Manatū Waka as there are ample opportunities to work on different interesting projects that help shape the wellbeing and liveability of the current and future generations of New Zealand.

 

Steve Riley — Principal Adviser, Domain Strategy, Economics and Evaluation

It is so rewarding to be working in Transport. I feel like I am really contributing to the future of Aotearoa, given the critical enabling role that transport plays in our communities. There are not many jobs where you wake up each morning and feel you can take a critical look at a system that can really improve peoples’ lives. Transport is our lifeblood and I really enjoy pushing myself to ensure the work I am doing aligns with and contributes to our Transport Outcomes Framework(external link). I have a particular interest in our inclusive access outcome as getting this right is critical for an equitable transport system.

I have been fortunate to have a diverse career that has included stints in the Public, Private and Academic sectors. This included a significant amount of experience working with transport operators across, air, land, sea and rail, and working with Local Government to better understand community perspectives on the tourism sector and infrastructure needs.

I joined Te Manatū Waka, Ministry of Transport in April 2021 and have never looked back since. My role combines my passion for transport with my desire to better connect people with our evidence base -data, research and analytics. Due to the small size of the Ministry, your ideas are always considered and the contribution you make is positively recognised. There is a great sense of transparency right through the organisation through to our Senior Leadership Team. Given the pivotal role that the Ministry plays across the transport system, there is a deep connection with other transport agencies and a real sense of collaboration across the sector. 

The opportunities I have had since starting with the Ministry have been outstanding, including a stint as Acting Manager and progression to the role of Principal Adviser in a very short period. My team are incredibly capable and share my passion for what we want to achieve together. If you have a positive forward thinking attitude and are willing to put the effort in, have the energy to work in a complex but rewarding sector, you will be pressed to find a better place to work.

 

Jo Pohatu — Principal Policy Adviser, Environment, Emissions and Adaptation

Knowing that eventually my work might lead to some meaningful social and environmental changes motivates me in my role.

I have worked for the Ministry for several years and stayed because I have been given some great opportunities, such as leading transports content for the Emissions Reduction Plan, which has both challenged and excited me. My manager gives me autonomy to get on with my work and knows I will deliver what is needed, show leadership with my work, deliver quality policy and step up when needed.

I really appreciate my manager understanding that occasionally I need some flexibility — this makes a huge difference to my work–home life balance.

Te Manatū Waka is the policy arm of New Zealand’s transport system. We support, and are supported by, a number of operational entities that deliver on the various policies we work on. It is a dynamic workplace with talented people who are working on many challenging projects that will improve our climate and reduce inequities of the system.

Te Manatū Waka’s size means I can know a large number of my colleagues and know what various groups are working on. It feels like a whānau, in that people are supportive and it’s not too big so you don’t get lost among the masses.

 

Eve Tucker — Senior Policy Adviser, Economic Regulation

I started at the Ministry in 2019, and my first year was completely different to anything I could have imagined. My work has included participating in the transport sector responses to significant emergencies, including the Christchurch mosque attacks and the Whakaari-White Island eruption, and from 2020 onwards we have played a role in supporting the All of Government response to COVID-19.

When my team isn’t helping out with an emergency response, our work programme is extremely diverse. ‘Transport’ isn’t all cars and roads: I’ve had the opportunity to work on the Civil Aviation Bill, drones work, and maritime policy, among other areas. I love the wide range of projects I work on, especially as I can see how these will help make New Zealand a better place to live.

The Ministry is extremely supportive of my career development, and everyone here is willing to share their expertise. The Ministry has a culture of constructive feedback that means you grow in your role while still feeling your contributions have been valuable. This is a great place for people who are driven and want to see the work they do make a difference.

 

Roselle Thoreau, Principal Analyst, Data & Analytics

I joined Te Manatū Waka in 2018 in the Data and Analytics team. We work with everyone from policymakers within the Ministry to analysts in other organisations to the wider public. We don’t just report on transport statistics – we undertake research and analysis of complex and sensitive issues to bring evidence and insights into transport decisions. 

When I started here I wasn’t expecting the wide range of skills which I would be able to utilise. Some days I am a data analyst, some days I am a researcher, some days I am a sector knowledge expert. Whatever day it is – whatever work I am undertaking it is always intellectually stimulating and rewarding.

Since joining the Ministry I have worked on such a wide range of projects from the Household Travel Survey to the Transport Knowledge Hub. I have really enjoyed working on road safety projects including Road to Zero; from the very early stages of its development through to where we are now in its implementation. This is a program that will save lives and its great to have a role in that.

The Ministry feels like one big inclusive team. There is always someone who will offer their help with a project so you always have the support you need. We are all trying to achieve the best results for New Zealanders, and this is evident in the collaborative vibe of our work-place.  This is a place for people who want to get stuck in and make a difference.

 

Adam Walker, Business Support Coordinator, Business Support

I do like the feeling of knowing my role here at the Ministry enables people, that I have close working relationships with, to do their policy mahi efficiently. I started here at the Ministry the day after Labour Day in 2021, and since then I have enjoyed getting to know a real whanau orientated workplace. Everyone gets along with each other and there isn’t a bad apple in sight. My work has included, deputising for our newest Deputy Chief Executive as his Executive Assistant, and ensuring his handover from his previous role, went as smoothly as possible. That was a fun challenge! I’ve also had the great pleasure of forming closer relationships with the two managers I look after, and their teams.

As only my second full-time job out of university, I really appreciate the flexibility my manager allows me with regarding to working from home, taking time off when required and cultivating that same feeling within our Business Support team. This whanau orientated nature is also especially prevalent within our team in Business Support. We have strived to create, with our manager’s direction, a culture of everyone chipping in when needed, and not feeling guilty for asking for help. It eases our workload, which is important as our team sits at the foundation of the Ministry and allows policy colleagues to focus on their roles. A side note is the excellent location, where a very good feed is never far away!