The Waka Kotahi Chief Executive reports to the Board. The Board is appointed by the Minister of Transport and is responsible for making independent decisions on allocating and investing funds from the National Land Transport Fund. It publishes its planned programme of investment every three years in the National Land Transport Programme.

Find out more about the National Land Transport Programme

Board members

The Minister of Transport can appoint up to nine members to the board. 

Dr Paul Reynolds – Chair

Paul began as Waka Kotahi chair on 1 February 2023.

Paul is an experienced Chair, public sector leader and strategist. He has held a range of senior positions in the public sector including as Chief Executive of the Ministry for the Environment, Deputy Director General (Policy) at the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and Chief Policy Adviser at the Ministry of Research, Science and Technology.

Paul is currently Chair of AgResearch and Deputy Chair of Manaaki Whenua–Landcare Research.  He also chairs the Manaaki Whenua subsidiary Toitu Envirocare, is a Director of OSPRI Ltd and Chairs the Student Volunteer Army Foundation.

Paul was made Companion of the Queen’s Service Order in 2018 and has a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Otago.

Cassandra Crowley – Deputy Chair

Cassandra is a chartered accountant (Fellow), barrister and solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand and a member of the Institute of Directors.

In addition to her commercial advisory work, she holds non-executive directorship roles across several sectors of the New Zealand economy. These roles include chairing several audit, finance and risk committees and overseeing digital transformation. She is a past president of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand and has been recognised for her leadership and governance contributions with the Supreme Award for Excellence in Governance from Women on Boards.

Cassandra chairs our Risk and Assurance Committee and is a member of our Investment and Delivery Committee.

David Smol

David Smol

David has over 35 years’ experience in New Zealand and the United Kingdom in both the public and private sectors. He has worked in the energy sector in both countries, including as director of an Oxford-based energy consulting firm with clients in the United Kingdom and Europe, large energy utilities and transmission companies, renewable energy generators, regulatory bodies and government departments.

In 2008, David was appointed Chief Executive of the Ministry of Economic Development. From 2012 to 2017, he was the inaugural Chief Executive of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, where he was responsible for the stewardship of multiple regulatory systems.

David is currently chair of New Zealand Growth Capital Partners, and Wellington UniVentures (the commercialisation subsidiary of Victoria University of Wellington).  He is also a director of Contact Energy and the Cooperative Bank. David was made a Companion of the Queen’s Service Order in 2018.

David is a member of our Regulatory Committee.

Catherine Taylor

Catherine Taylor

Catherine is a chartered accountant and has held senior management positions in the public and private sectors, including five years as director and Chief Executive of Maritime New Zealand. Catherine understands transport sector regulatory issues and has always been interested in how regulatory tools can be used to achieve safety outcomes.

Catherine’s current governance roles include deputy chair of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority, chair of Diabetes New Zealand, trustee of the John Nesfield Trust and trustee of the New Zealand Law Foundation.

Her past roles include deputy chair of Nelson Airport Limited, director of the New Zealand Institute for Crop and Food Research (now Plant and Food Research), member of the Civil Aviation Authority, member of the Building Practitioners Board, member of the Biosecurity Ministerial Advisory Committee and trustee of the Life Flight Trust.

Catherine chairs our Regulatory Committee and is a member of our People, Culture and Safety Committee.

Patrick Reynolds

Patrick brings extensive expertise in urban form and transport analysis and advocacy, along with public sector governance experience to Waka Kotahi.

He has lectured in urban design at the University of Auckland and written about transport and the urban realm in books and magazines and online, most prominently at Greater Auckland. Patrick is a recipient of the New Zealand Institute of Architects President’s Award for his contributions to debates on Auckland’s urban issues.

He has served on boards for Auckland Council, Auckland Transport, and Rotorua Lakes Council.

Patrick is a member of our Investment and Delivery and Regulatory Committees.

Victoria Carter

Victoria Carter

Victoria has over 25 years’ experience as a director on the boards of NZX, private companies and council entities in the transport, tourism, education, property and arts sectors.

Founder of Cityhop, New Zealand’s first and largest carshare business, Victoria is a known expert on mobility as a service.

Victoria is a former Auckland City councillor and an accredited Fellow of the Institute of Directors. In 2016, she was awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the arts, business and community. She holds a bachelor of laws from the University of Auckland.

Victoria chairs our People, Culture and Safety Committee and is a member of our Risk and Assurance Committee.

John Bridgman

John has over 35 years’ experience in engineering and project management roles across Australasia and Asia.

John is a director of Kāinga Ora and Chief Executive of Ōtākaro Limited. He has held a variety of senior leadership positions and governance roles at AECOM (including as industry director – civil infrastructure in Australia with responsibility for the company’s involvement in several of Australia’s largest infrastructure projects and as managing director for the New Zealand business), as well as governance roles on major infrastructure projects in New Zealand, Australia, Asia and the United Kingdom.

John chairs our Investment and Delivery Committee.

Hon. Tracey Martin

Hon Tracey Martin was the Minister for Children in the previous Government, as well as Minister for Seniors, Associate Minister of Education and Minister of Internal Affairs. She was a Member of Parliament for nine years between 2011 and 2020.

Tracey is currently the Chair of the New Zealand Qualifications Authority, the Strong Public Media Business Case Governance Group and the Wellington Regional Leadership Committee.

Tracey is a member of our Investment and Delivery Committee and our Risk and Assurance Committee.

Ngarimu Blair

Ngarimu has strong Māori governance experience including leading the restructuring of the Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Group into a modern post-settlement governance entity in 2012.

Ngarimu is currently a director of Kāinga Ora, Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Whai Rawa Ltd, a large property company responsible for the protection and growth of the tribe's commercial assets, Manaaki Whenua and co-chair of the Tamaki Makaurau Mana Whenua Forum.

Ngarimu is a member of our People, Culture and Safety Committee and our Regulatory Committee.

Board committees

The board has four committees.

Risk and Assurance Committee


  • Cassandra Crowley (Chair)
  • Victoria Carter
  • Tracey Martin

Regulatory Committee


  • Catherine Taylor (Chair)
  • David Smol
  • Patrick Reynolds
  • Ngarimu Blair

Investment and Delivery Committee


  • John Bridgman (Chair)
  • Cassandra Crowley
  • Patrick Reynolds
  • Tracey Martin

People, Culture and Safety Committee


  • Victoria Carter (Chair)
  • Catherine Taylor
  • Ngarimu Blair

Board meetings

View the schedule of board meetings in 2023

Board minutes

Minutes of board meetings are published following confirmation at a subsequent board meeting and after an internal process to identify content needing to be withheld under the Official Information Act 1982.

Read the minutes of past meetings

Board decisions

Find out about the board's recent investment decisions