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Secretary For Transport And Chief Executive Ministry Of Transport Appointed

Deputy Public Service Commissioner Ms Helene Quilter QSO has today announced the appointment of Audrey Sonerson to the position of Secretary for Transport and Chief Executive, Ministry of Transport.

The Ministry of Transport is the Government’s principal advisor on all issues relating to transport. Much of New Zealand’s transport infrastructure is government owned, including $60 billion of road assets and more than $1 billion of rail assets. The Ministry administers funding for land, air and water transport infrastructure investments, services, and regulatory activities.

“I’m very pleased to appoint Ms Sonerson to this role,” Ms Quilter said.

“Ms Sonerson is a leader with broad experience in the Public Service. She has led multiple functions including strategy, policy, regulation and monitoring, and major projects and investment across several sectors.”

Ms Sonerson is currently a Deputy Chief Executive at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, a role she has held since December 2019.

She has previously held positions of Deputy Commissioner Resource Management at New Zealand Police, Deputy Chief Executive positions at the Ministry of Justice with responsibility for sector relationships, strategy and investment, and various manager roles at The Treasury.

“Ms Sonerson is a highly regarded public service leader with a rounded background in policy leadership, sector leadership and organisational leadership. She is well placed to take on this role,” said Ms Quilter.

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Ms Sonerson holds a Master of Commerce and Administration (1st Class) in Economics, Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Politics, and Bachelor of Science in Statistics from Victoria University of Wellington.

She has been appointed for five years from 12 December 2022.


Ms Sonerson moved to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in 2018 as Deputy Chief Executive (Resources).

Since 2019 she has been Deputy Chief Executive (People and Operations).

From 2016 to 2018 Ms Sonerson was Deputy Commissioner (Resource Management) at New Zealand Police.

She moved to the Ministry of Justice in 2012 and held roles including Deputy Chief Executive, and Deputy Chief Executive, Sector where she had responsibility for sector relationships and strategy.

Ms Sonerson moved to The Treasury in 2002, and during a 10-year period held a number of roles including Manager, Economic Performance, and Manager, Justice and Security.

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