Barbara has deep experience in many of the big policy matters we are interested in, and she and the team will be working to make sure our Strategy recommendations are enabled through New Zealand’s institutional and regulatory settings. We asked Barbara a couple of questions so that you can get to know her a little better…
Tell us why you were interested in the GM Policy role
Because it is a dream job. To be working for a small agile organisation with an influential role as a strategic leader and advisor to Government is really exciting. I'm not a traditional 'policy wonk' and am particularly interested in the practical implementation of policy direction to deliver what's needed. That's what's so fascinating about this role as part of the wider Te Waihanga work - all New Zealand public infrastructure and the practical policy advice about planning the pipeline, potential government interventions, legislation, regulatory and economic instruments that can enable and ensure the infrastructure our society needs now and into our future. We have an immediate challenge to deliver the infrastructure 'chapter' for the new National Planning Framework, which provides a great opportunity to strengthen our infrastructure sector relationships (both public and private sector). I enjoy collaborative cross-sector work across local and central government and with the private sector, and I'm looking forward to building great working relationships to inform robust policy advice.
What do you bring to this position?
After almost twelve years working in transport (Waka Kotahi), I understand the practical inter-weaving of policy, planning and investment processes and how they enable (or get in the way of!) the provision of quality public infrastructure. In particular I've learnt the importance of shaping and implementing policy to better plan, fund and deliver infrastructure and services. More generally, much of my career has been working at the interface between different sectors (e.g. private sector and central government; central and local government), where I've learnt to translate between sectors and work collectively for a common good. And in the process I've developed a political radar and understanding of the machinery of central and local government. I'm looking forward to applying my experience at Te Waihanga and learning lots more about our public infrastructure (beyond transport).