Riccardo Areosa, Programme Manager for Safer Commercial Transport at Waka Kotahi, grew up in Africa, where his first job was in a transport company in Zimbabwe, moving tobacco and cotton into South Africa and then mostly mining goods and oversize loads out of South Africa into Zambia and Congo.

He says: “In transport there is never a dull day as we navigated through fuel shortages, corrupt officials, food shortages and hyperinflation.”

Riccardo emigrated to Aotearoa New Zealand in 2008, where he joined BidFood as a storeperson/driver. In 2011, he joined Waka Kotahi in a safety and regulation role, initially with passenger endorsements, assessing fitness and propriety to operate taxi and bus services, and then with trucks and permits.

Riccardo has been a leader of the RUC assessments team, part of the team that introduced the Vehicle Dimension and Mass rule change in 2016, and a member of the Axle Weight and Loading Group, and the Performance Based Standards Group. He has also worked with teams on other crisis situations, including Covid check points to ensure permitted transport movements continued during the pandemic.