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North Shore City appoints transport leader

North Shore City appoints transport leader

North Shore City Council has appointed Rick Walden as general manager - transport services, a key role he will take up next month.

A civil and structural engineer with a successful career in the public and private sectors, Mr Walden will report to chief executive, John Brockies, and be responsible for leading the council's transport services division at a critical stage in the city's history.

With four per cent traffic growth a year in North Shore City, transport is the council's greatest priority with $69.2 million budgeted in the city's 2003-04 annual plan, including $41.9 million on various capital projects. The city's roading network stretches 640 km from Devonport in the south to Okura in the north.

In announcing the key appointment, Mr Brockies says Rick Walden's extensive experience in business management and leadership in civil engineering and infrastructure management will be put to work tackling the transport issues facing North Shore City and the Auckland region at large.

"Rick brings a proven track record to the job," says John Brockies.

"He's someone who has met complex engineering, statutory and leadership challenges throughout his career and he'll lead our council's contribution to improving public transport and helping ease congestion.

"Working in partnership with central government and other Auckland councils, we're integrating roading, bus and ferry services, improving passenger transport, our road network and encouraging walking and cycling in our city," Mr Brockies says.

Rick Walden is a registered professional civil and structural engineer with over 20 years' experience in civil engineering consulting, contracting, transport infrastructure management and development, change management and business leadership, through senior roles in both the private and public sectors.

Mr Walden is currently general manager - smart forests for Albany-based Air Logistics, a role he has held since early 2002.

Before that he spent five years as national engineering manager for Carter Holt Harvey (CHH) Forests with responsibility for the group's national infrastructure. This included more than 12,000 km of roading, from sealed 100 tonne-rated arterials to forest establishment and harvest access roads, and construction of about 400 km of new roads annually.

Rick Walden's early career in contracting and civil engineering design was followed by six years with Babbage Consulting Group, where he was a partner and director. During this period he led projects in land development, roading, highway and transportation projects, and local authority infrastructural asset planning and management.

He joined Rodney District Council in 1992 as engineering manager, reporting to the CEO, where he was responsible for the planning, budgeting, technical advice and management of all the council's engineering activities.

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