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Driving Change Diversity Programme introduces 2022 nominated diversity champions

Ia Ara Transporting New Zealand has announced today the inaugural group of diversity champions who will take part in Te ara ki tua Road to success Driving Change Diversity Programme. The 9 nominees from within the industry come from diverse backgrounds and work in different roles, from truck drivers to managers and business owners.

The programme is an initiative sponsored by Teletrac Navman and proudly supported by Transporting New Zealand and the Australian Transport Association to address what the industry recognises is a workforce that doesn’t accurately reflect the diversity of New Zealand and New Zealanders today.

Te ara ki tua Road to success Driving Change Diversity Programme brings a two-fold approach to creating a diverse and inclusive transport business. First, it showcases diversity stories to the transport industry and wider community. Honest life stories of participants promote a positive perception of the industry and encourage new entrants into the workforce. Second, through a dynamic network of like-minded individuals and a valuable package of professional development opportunities to build the right skills for participants, the programme teaches them how to embrace and celebrate a unique workforce.

David Smith, Chair of the ATA, says: “When done properly, diversity can be a game-changer in the professional world. It’s increasingly important for transport companies realise diversity as an asset that they should rely on and embrace. We’re pleased to partner with Teletrac Navman and Transporting New Zealand to launch a meaningful initiative to enact positive change in the industry.”

Megan Duncan, Director of Director of Global Marketing Operations, Teletrac Navman, has high hopes for this year’s cohort. “As the programme promotes diversity, it’s a joy to see a diverse group of participants. It shows that awareness is getting better and better with time, and there have been more transport companies trying to make genuine commitments to equal opportunities.”

Biographies of the program participants are below.  




Joshua Hart
Class 5 driver, Hart Haulage

Our Te ara ki tua Road to success Driving Change Diversity Programme aims to show that the industry is open to people from all walks of life. This year, our first cohort of Diversity Champions grew to 9 participants from diverse backgrounds and working in different roles within the industry. Let’s meet Joshua Hart, a Class 5 Driver from Hart Haulage. It’s no surprise if he looks familiar – his story of overcoming bullying to spread courageous message in the community has been covered by TVNZ 1’s Seven Sharp. Now an anti-bullying ambassador, Josh drives a bright pink truck around Auckland to talk to students about embracing diversity to create a safe, bully-free environment. Josh believes neither race nor academic ability should be a barrier to entry. The trucking industry was the first industry to accept him and his authentic self when others wouldn't. To pay it forward, today he goes above and beyond to listen to and help others, as well as raise better awareness of mental health issues.  

Lisa Gibson
Customer Operations and HSSE Lead, Z Energy

Gender equality benefits both men and women in an organisation. If you know a female friend who is keen to join the industry, Lisa Gibson’s story is worth checking out. Over a decade ago Lisa Gibson worked in the cafe of Z Energy with neither background nor seniority. As the saying goes, ‘we all have to start somewhere’. Lisa keeps shining with her passion and work ethic, which have helped her progress into her current role as Customer Operations and HSSE Lead on bulk fuel delivery activity at Z Energy. Today, Lisa is integral in managing operational service and delivery issues, as well as contracting assurance and annual HSSE audits. Bringing her success story to the Te ara ki tua Road to success Driving Change Diversity Programme, Lisa proves that diversity at work is all about respecting differences and recognising people based on their contributions alone.  

Marthe Lutu
Health and Safety Advisor, Alexander Group

There is a wide range of key risk factors within the transport industry, from business and industry practices to fatigue and other road users. At Alexander Group, a company which demands a high level of compliance and risk assessment, Health and Safety Advisor Marthe Lutu knows how to get key safety messages across to a wide range of people. A high-performing team member who works hard to continuously improve the company’s H&S performance, Marthe is a role model to lots of people. Marthe moved to New Zealand from Samoa at 12, and is also a champion for her culture and gender. Joining the Te ara ki tua Road to success Driving Change Diversity Programme, Marthe strongly believes in breaking down culture, age, and gender barriers to establish a supportive work culture welcoming people from all backgrounds.

Mickayla Kerr
CEO, Heagney Bros

Great leaders can be role models for embracing diversity as they lead by example, initiating practices to attract people from a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives. As the CEO of Heagney Bros, Diversity Champion Mickayla Kerr understands how important leadership is in cultivating a diverse workplace. Running a family-owned transport company in a male-dominated environment, Mickayla is always ready to stand up for what is right and what could be better. She works hard to bring out the best in every driver, whether it's supporting female applicants in obtaining Class 5 licences, giving people with physical limitations career opportunities or providing school hours to working parents. In her 15 years in the military, she was one of the first females to lead within the combat arms, and was actively involved in recruiting female soldiers into the artillery. Mickayla deeply appreciates diversity at work – for her it’s about bringing together a team that everyone can contribute in their own ways and offer different perspectives.  

Brianna Wilson
Class 5 driver, Philip Wareing

Diversity and inclusion are key to tackling labour shortages, but what can transport companies do to properly encourage fresh talents and equal career opportunities? Meet Brianna Wilson, Class 5 driver at Philip Wareing Ltd, one of our Diversity Champions this year. Knowing that she is in the minority in an environment that sometimes can seem like a ‘big boys’ club’, she is interested in talking to young people, especially young women, about how they can get a foot in the door. Starting as an apprentice driver, she never shies away from challenging work, like bobby calf lifting, and simply delivers with a polite, cheerful and positive attitude. Brianna strongly believes in equal opportunities, as she knows that women can work well in the transport industry.

Chelly Balasbas 
HR Manager, Allied and Holcim Concrete

HR professionals have a unique role in creating and empowering a diverse workforce as they can provide leaders an aerial view of new sources of talent. For Chelly Balasbas, our Diversity Champion who is HR Manager at Allied and Holcim Concrete, there is a lot more to diversity than surface differences in any organisation. Diversity means accepting, valuing and giving equitable treatment to people regardless of their social class, beliefs, cultures, age and gender. She is mindful of her own unconscious biases, and has a flexible, collaborative approach to ensure that she responds well to different cultural norms. Chelly believes that diversity and inclusion shouldn’t be just a superficial marketing tool, but an authentic priority for transport companies. We’re beyond excited to have a HR manager joining the programme this year, and we can’t wait to see how Chelly will develop professionally with us.

Jodi McNamara 
Driver Trainer, H.W. Richardson Group

Our Champion Jodi McNamara, driver trainer at H.W. Richardson Group, has a real passion for building the future of transport. For her, there are very few things more inspiring than meeting likeminded people with the ambition and drive to make a real change in their chosen field. Following the two-day Road to Success Driving Change Diversity Programme held in Wellington, she walked away feeling inspired and excited about what they could contribute to the future of the industry as a group. She appreciates that the participants have the opportunities to do something tangible, and how the programme lays a solid groundwork for bringing real change to an already strong industry.

Jacqueline Smith 
Managing Director/Co-owner, Renwick Transport

Nurturing diversity can open the door to happiness at work. When employees feel they are understood, valued and embraced, they naturally feel happier. Running a diverse transport company is what Jacqueline Smith enjoys most about her work. At Renwick Transport, whether it be age, gender or work variation, every day is a chance for everyone to learn new things and strive to do better together. Jacqueline sees diversity as moving with the times and being open to embracing change. She also believes in challenging the ‘just a truck driver’ mindset, since they are qualified professional drivers with great responsibility, and should be treated with respect and dignity. Joining the programme, Jacqueline is looking forward to being a part of a larger network, which allows her to develop more ideas of how to promote diversity at work.

Hayley Alexander 
CEO, Alexander Group

If we describe Diversity Champion Hayley Alexander in one word, it should be ‘progressive’. CEO of Alexander Group, a family-owned business with a diverse workforce, Hayley focuses on putting thoughts into action and putting people first. She is also a member of Global Women, an organisation whose mission is promoting diversity. To her colleagues, she is an influential leader who simply sees each person for what they bring to the table and who they could potentially become. Seeing past traditional biases like race, gender and level of education, Hayley treats everyone with the same respect and attention. She thinks that breaking down barriers to diversity not only helps the transport industry meet capacity demand, but also provides fresh perspectives that can be key to addressing current challenges. 

Programme FAQ


TE ARA KI TUA ROAD TO SUCCESS DRIVING CHANGE DIVERSITY PROGRAMME – sponsored by Teletrac Navman and proudly supported by Ia Ara Aotearoa Transporting New Zealand, NRC, NZ Trucking and the Australian Transport Association.

The Road to success Driving Change Diversity Programme is an initiative that will celebrate industry diversity, develop diversity champions, and improve industry image. The programme will showcase diversity champions to the trucking industry and wider community through programme participant stories and diversity training, promoting positive perception of industry and encouraging new entrants into the workforce.


Participants will:

  • Learn how to create change and facilitate diversity and in their workplace and community including:
    • The power of diversity in the workplace and trucking industry
    • How to become a diversity ambassador
    • How to change the perception of diversity within their workplace, the trucking industry and their community
  • Receive ongoing professional development to build skills to enact industry change
  • Be encouraged to become mentors to participants of the Te ara ki tua Road to Success scheme
  • Develop a strong professional network with like-minded individuals


The Programme is designed to minimise any interruption to participants work schedule.  We anticipate a 3-5 day time commitment across the duration of the Programme (12 months).  We will work with our team of champions to ensure that the Programme is flexible and adding value for each participant

Confimred programme requirements:

  • 1 hour intro webinar
  • Diversity Workshop (2 days) – held in Wellington at Transporting New Zealand head  office (August 2022)
  • Quarterly virtual cohort catch-up
  • Monthly mentoring check-ins with Road to success trainees – online as a group and in one-on-one phone calls (Champion to be matched with trainee/s)
  • Provide 2 articles on their experience with diversity in the workplace during the year – their own story and one that highlights area of culture change around diversity they have initiated in their workplace

Options that will be available to all Champions:

  • On-going professional development – available to all participants and will be a mix of online and in person training that includes issues such as: navigating difficult conversations/Presentation skills/Mentoring. These session will be available  throughout the year (scheduled to cause minimum disruption to worktime)

To be developed with our cohort of Champions:

  • Regular mentoring check-ins with Road to success trainees – online as a group and in one-on-one phone calls (Champion to be matched with trainee/s)
  • Attending events in their area that are hosted or supported by any of the Transport Associations  in New Zealand to promote Diversity and inclusion in the transport industry


To participate in the Road to success Driving Change Diversity Programme, applicants must:

  • Be of a diverse background or a diversity champion. Diverse backgrounds include age, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, physical abilities and religious beliefs.
  • Be involved as an owner or employee in a trucking business
  • Be available to travel for programme workshops and other events
  • Complete the nomination form in full and provide a high-resolution head and shoulders photograph.
  • Be willing to undertake media activity, including photography and video