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Our people

Our Chief Executive

Peter Mersi

Peter Mersi

Peter became our Chief Executive and Secretary for Transport in July 2016.

He brings strong leadership experience to this position, having previously held roles as Chief Executive at Land Information New Zealand, Deputy Commissioner for Business Transformation at Inland Revenue, Acting Secretary for Internal Affairs, Chief Executive of the Department of Internal Affairs, and Deputy Secretary, State Sector Performance Group at The Treasury.

Peter has management responsibility for members of the Senior Leadership Team. 

Chief Executive’s expenses

We publish spreadsheets showing the Chief Executive's business expenses, gifts and hospitality over NZD $100.

Chief Executive’s expenses (external link)

Our Senior Leadership Team

System and Regulatory Design Group

This group is responsible for the effective delivery of much of our regulatory policy and ensuring we perform our regulatory stewardship role at the highest level. The group also leads the strategic direction and design of other functions to balance key transport outcomes: inclusive access, healthy and safe people, environmental sustainability, economic prosperity, and resilience and security.

Our strategic direction

Karl Simpson, Acting Deputy Chief Executive

Karl leads the System and Regulatory Design Group on an acting basis.

He has a strong policy, regulatory and leadership experience having worked in a range of roles in the public service. Karl’s substantive role is as a Director in the Group, where he has led and supported a range of the Ministry’s major projects, and worked on the Ministry’s capability development.

Prior to joining the Ministry, he worked for MBIE and its predecessor agencies in a range of leadership, policy and legal roles, including leading major reforms in health and safety at work and financial markets, and working in energy, communications, and employment relations.

Karl is the current chair of the Legislation Design and Advisory Committee(external link), where he uses his leadership skills and regulatory design expertise to further the mandate of the Committee.

System Strategy and Investment Group

This group advises government on system-level transport strategy and outcomes. It provides advice on, and some management of, transport infrastructure planning, funding and investment. The group connects this with other functions, and broader and place-based programmes that include or intersect with the transport outcomes. 

Bryn Gandy

Bryn Gandy, Deputy Chief Executive

Bryn is an experienced public service leader, having held senior roles in the defence, health, internal affairs, justice, and social and children’s sectors.

Previously he was Deputy Chief Executive, Strategy, Governance and People at the Ministry of Defence, leading its transformation to improve delivery of long-range strategy and policy advice, as well as an NZD$20 billion capital programme. In his previous roles, Bryn has led agency and sector policy and strategy initiatives, and was an IPANZ Supreme Award winner for business transformation.

Bryn is committed to developing state sector people and leadership. He was a public service Leadership Fellow in 2009 and has co-led the design and delivery of award-winning leadership programmes. 

System Performance and Governance Group

This group leads the appraisal, assessment, monitoring and evaluation of the health and performance of the transport system, and the key government agencies within it. Insights from the group help inform system strategy and regulatory design. 

Nick Brown

Nick Brown, Deputy Chief Executive

Nick is an experienced senior leader who began his career in the public service transport sector in the United Kingdom.

Nick was previously our General Manager, Aviation and Maritime. As well as leading on aviation, maritime, security and freight policy, he was responsible for our work supporting the deployment of intelligent transport system technologies in New Zealand, including autonomous vehicles.

Nick has built strong stakeholder relationships throughout his career and worked across organisational boundaries to achieve successful outcomes for the sector.

Corporate Services ​|Te Kāhui Tangata

This group is focused on our effective operation as an organisation. It also has a key role in delivering our strategy. The group provides services, advice and support to ensure we can deliver our role both in the system and as part of the wider public service.

Robyn Smith

Robyn Smith, Deputy Chief Executive

Robyn is an experienced senior human resources professional with particular interest and expertise in organisational design, strategy development, leadership development, change management and talent management.

She is committed to helping organisations align their people strategy with business strategy, and developing managers to deliver high quality outcomes for their people and their business. Robyn has led a large number of organisational and cultural change programmes including during mergers, sales and acquisitions.

During her career, Robyn has held executive responsibility for human resources, health, safety and environment, administration and facilities, industrial relations, diversity, talent management, leadership development, culture and employee engagement, and shared services. 

Karen LyonsKaren Lyons, Director – Auckland

Before joining us, Karen held a number of senior positions in economic development, strategy, and governance in Auckland’s local government sector.

Before joining the Ministry she was General Manager for the local boards at Auckland Council. She established and consolidated the new and unique local governance model for Auckland, and supported 149 elected members in their governance roles. In addition, Karen managed the Auckland Council’s quality advice programme and elected-member professional development programme.

Before working in Auckland, Karen worked as an economist at the New Zealand Treasury and HM Treasury in London.  

Paul LaplanchePaul Laplanche, Chief Financial Officer

Paul has a wealth of experience in the transport sector having previously held roles as Chief Financial Officer at Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency and the Civil Aviation Authority.

He is a member of our senior leadership team and reports to the Deputy Chief Executive, Corporate Services | Te Kāhui Tangata.

Paul has also held senior finance roles in central and local government, and positions in the banking and insurance industries. He has considerable experience in enhancing organisational and financial management frameworks, leading organisational change and being a trusted business partner.

Our Minister

We advise the Minister of Transport, Michael Wood. Michael Wood

Hon Michael Wood

Minister of Transport

You can find the minister's 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)