Stephen has significant experience in transport planning and project delivery for local and central government agencies for both road and water infrastructure. He has worked through project funding, development and delivery giving him a firm understanding of what is required to develop and deliver a successful project. Stephen has worked on both the client and consultant side of the industry, across the breadth of the country. He is passionate about turning ideas into reality, and seeing the change in the real world.
What made you decide to become a Transport Planner?
I began my career in logistics, however, I found that it was repetitive and didn’t provide an intellectual challenge to make every day interesting. That is when I decided to move into transport planning.
What did you do before joining Abley?
I worked at a consultancy primarily providing transport advice to government agencies, although I also worked in asset management and water infrastructure. Within this role I was frequently the project manager responsible for the successful delivery of the project. Earlier in my career I worked for the Wellington City Council, and the NZ Transport Agency for about four years each. I had a range of roles across transport planning and project management.
What does a typical day in the office include?
Communication is a key part of the job, be that understanding the needs of the clients, brainstorming with my colleagues, or capturing the results of our work and communicating it in a meaningful way. Most of the day is spent communicating either by phone, email, meetings or through the development of new documentation.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I like to see my efforts in planning or project management being converted into a real life change out in the world. It is very satisfying to see a project you have been involved with completed, providing a safer or more efficient outcome for those that use it.
What’s the most challenging thing about your job?
Transport planning involves the consideration of so many factors, it is also an area that everyone has an opinion on and quickly captures the attention of politicians and the media. This means that things can change quickly, and sometimes the result may not always be the best technical outcome. This is also what makes each day different and interesting.
What’s been your career highlight so far?
I was lucky enough to be involved in the Mt Victoria Tunnel Refurbishment in Wellington. I was the project manager for the NZ Transport Agency, but I was also seconded into the Memorial Park Alliance who designed and delivered the job. It was great to be involved right through the project, and to see it completed. It was also great to work within an Alliance environment.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I enjoy being outdoors either camping, fishing, biking or going for walks. I also enjoy music and play the guitar.