Stacey Millar, Women’s Infrastructure Network Auckland Chair

What organisation are you with and what is your role?
I’m the Group Manager – Strategy for the Hynds Group.
My role involves working alongside our Group Business General Managers to develop and implement strategies for each of their respective business divisions. I oversee the overall strategic framework for Hynds and ensure there is alignment in direction and outcomes across the organisation.

What are some moments in your career that you feel most proud of?
It’s always satisfying reaching the end or achieving a milestone on a challenging project and I’m proud to have worked on a number of these. The Artillery Drive Stormwater Tunnel and the Kawerau Falls Bridge in Queenstown, for which I designed a lot of the temporary works, are two examples. The latter had some significant complexities for everyone involved including high seismic requirements, a highly constrained working environment and challenging rock pile foundations…not to mention a commercial jet boat operation to accommodate! The end result was a beautiful weathered-steel bridge in a stunning location, juxtaposed by the original and historic single-lane bridge.

In more recent years, my role with the Auckland WIN Chapter reflects a personal drive to make our sector more available to a wider cross-section of people and I’m proud of what the Committee has achieved in the last couple of years despite the many challenges of Covid. We have some exciting plans in the works and I’m looking forward to being able to gather with the network again after a lengthy hiatus from in-person events.

Can you offer any reflections on the role your age/experience/diversity has played in your career so far?
I believe the diversity that my personal experiences and perspective represent have been a strength and played a positive role in my career. Diverse perspectives can provide balance to discussions and add value to decision-making. Sharing my perspective has been encouraged and valued by those around me and I attribute my success to the different ways I engage and contribute across a broad range of stakeholders and projects. This includes as a civil engineer come strategist, and as a younger woman contributing to business decisions and policies as a member of the Hynds management team.

Ultimately, the change I want to see and encourage in our sector is more flexible working arrangements and adopting additional ways of working. While these can pose a significant challenge for site-based roles and be perceived as a threat to traditional contracting agreements, I believe they will be critical factors for our sector to remain relevant and attractive to the next generations, retain our existing knowledge base and talent, and ultimately realise a more diverse workforce.

In the here and now, I am buoyed by the steps being taken to address the lack of diverse representation across key decision-making forums, particularly in technical roles and at senior levels, as this will go some way to improve outcomes for our sector and by extension the communities we provide for.


Nicola Robbins, The Infrastructure Collective Wellington Chair

What organisation are you with and what is your role?
I’m a Senior Solicitor in the Corporate Advisory Group at Russell McVeagh, and have a particular focus on complex and high-value procurement projects, infrastructure and technology projects and complex commercial contracting.

What are some moments in your career that you feel most proud of?
Working on the iReX Project was undoubtedly a career highlight for me and marked the start of my passion for the infrastructure sector.  The iReX Project is a once in a generation investment in the Interislander fleet and associated port side infrastructure at Waitohi (Picton) and Te Whanganui-a-Tara (Wellington). It is one of the most significant infrastructure projects currently underway in New Zealand.  We worked closely alongside the iReX Project team to help facilitate the procurement of the two new, state-of-the-art Cook Strait ferries.  Following a robust and lengthy procurement process, and technical commercial negotiations with the shipyards, KiwiRail signed a NZ$551m binding contract with Korean shipyard Hyundai Mipo in July 2021.

We also assisted KiwiRail with the procurement and selection of the design consortium for the redevelopment of the ferry terminals. WSP and Jacobs will take the existing concept design through to final design, ahead of construction starting later this year.  

More recently, I am proud to represent the Wellington chapter of the Infrastructure Collective as the new chair.  We have some exciting events lined up for our members this year, including a site visit to the Omāroro Reservoir to view the tank before it is buried, never to be seen again!  

Can you offer any reflections on the role your age/experience/diversity has played in your career so far?
During my career, I have made a conscious effort to “never say no” and to accept every opportunity I am offered. This has (so far) included accepting secondments with various clients to work alongside the business or project team (which I cannot recommend enough to those offered the same opportunity), undertaking work in completely new (and sometimes unusual) areas of law, attending as many industry events as possible and more recently, chairing the Wellington chapter of the Infrastructure Collective. 

Saying “yes” to all these opportunities has helped me gain invaluable experience and assisted my development as a young lawyer. This is something I’m committed to carrying on doing through the rest of my career, and I encourage all young professionals to do the same.


Diversity Advisory Board members appointed

In December 2022, the Infrastructure New Zealand Board approved the establishment of the Diversity Advisory Board (DAB), mandated to guide and support Infrastructure New Zealand and its members in creating and sustaining a diverse and inclusive infrastructure sector.

We are pleased to announce that the members of the DAB have now been confirmed and are as follows:

  • Amy Barrett, Chair, New Zealand Country Manager, Fortescue Future Industries
  • Johnathan Chambers, Team Leader – Water Resources, Harrison Grierson
  • Jarrod Telford, Te Ara Whanake Facilitator/Kaitakawaenga, Downer
  • Stacey Millar, General Manager – Strategy, Hynds Group
  • Wei Lu, Head of Investment Banking & Project Finance, China Construction Bank NZ Ltd.
  • Sophie Dawson, Associate Director, Ernst & Young
  • Mohamed Nalar, Head of Capital Performance and Projects, Auckland Transport
  • Sarah Howard, Pou Ārahi Māori Leader, Aurecon
  • Tracey Saunders, General Manger – Digital Transformation, Aurora Energy
  • Helen Rogers, Acting Deputy Chief Executive, KiwiRail
  • Veronique Briartore, Head of Business Development and Marketing, Anthony Harper
  • Christina Sheard, Partner, Dentons Kensington Swan
  • Katrina Barrack, Corporate Services Manager, Infrastructure New Zealand [Infrastructure New Zealand representative]
  • Tracey Ryan, Managing Director – New Zealand, Aurecon [Infrastructure New Zealand Board representative]

We thank these members for their ongoing support of Infrastructure New Zealand, and for the contribution they will make to diversity in our sector.