Some interesting news late yesterday with the NZTA announcing they have hired Fergus Gamie to be their next CEO – which comes after current CEO Geoff Dangerfield announced a few months ago that he would step down from the role. We’ve been waiting with interest to see who would get the role as it’s one that obviously has a massive impact on transport throughout NZ but also has big implications within Auckland as the CEO gets an non-voting seat on the Auckland Transport board. The NZTA having a seat at the AT board was something many criticised originally however from many discussions I’ve had it turned out to be quite a positive thing and instrumental in getting wider support for projects like the CRL.
What’s most interesting about the appointment of Fergus is his background. He was the Chief Executive of the old Auckland Regional Transport Authority (ARTA) which ran public transport in Auckland prior to the creation of Auckland Transport. He then became Chief Operating officer of AT to the end of 2011 before he left to take up senior roles at Transport for New South Wales including running their PT system. That’s meant he’s been heavily involved in public transport for many years and locally been involved in projects such as the upgrading of the rail network, the northern busway and integrated ticketing amongst other things.
All of this means we know will have a CEO of the NZTA who has a very strong background in public transport. This isn’t to say the NZTA is about to start focusing exclusively on public transport, obviously a large chunk of it’s focus needs to remain on keeping our state highways working well but hopefully we’ll see the agency step up on PT more. I don’t know who else applied but this does seem like a positive announcement.
On behalf of the NZ Transport Agency Board, Chairman Chris Moller has announced the appointment of Fergus Gammie as the new Chief Executive of the NZ Transport Agency.
Mr Moller says the Board has made this appointment after an international recruitment process that attracted a very strong field of candidates. Mr Gammie will take up his position on 1 March 2016 and the Board is looking forward to working with him in creating transport solutions to meet the Government’s objective of a thriving New Zealand.
“Fergus joins the Transport Agency with a passion for transport and the difference it can make to a country,” says Mr Moller. “He brings to the role deep experience in the transport sector both here and in Australia.”
Mr Gammie is a former Chief Executive of Auckland Regional Transport Authority (ARTA), Chief Operating Officer of Auckland Transport, Deputy Director General Transport Services of Transport for New South Wales and currently Deputy Secretary Infrastructure & Services with the same organisation. In this latter capacity he is responsible for leading a team of 1,300 staff, managing an annual operating budget of A$5 billion and infrastructure and systems projects totalling A$11 billion over the next four years.
Mr Gammie holds a BA from Victoria University in Wellington and a Certificate in Management from Henley Management College.
A native Kiwi, Mr Gammie commented, “I am delighted to be returning home to a role and organisation that makes a significant contribution to New Zealand.”
With strong relationship skills and an ability to engage and build rapport, Mr Gammie will bring a good mix of leadership, inspiration, operational experience, technical breadth and long-term thinking to the land transport sector in New Zealand.
Mr Gammie’s appointment follows the decision of Geoff Dangerfield to step down as CE, effective 18 December.
“The Board is very grateful for the dedicated service and the consistently high results which Geoff has delivered over the past seven years,” said Mr Moller. “The Board is confident that Geoff leaves the Transport Agency with the right strategy in place and in very good shape.”
Transport Agency Group Manager for Planning and Investment Dave Brash will act as CE over the interim period from 18 December until Mr Gammie takes up his role on 1 March 2016. There will be no loss of momentum in respect of Transport Agency deliverables during this period.