Posts by Jo Draper:
Jo heads up Abley’s Land Development team within the Transportation Group. The team applies transport expertise to support private and public sector clients as they navigate their way through the land development process.
Jo was born in New Zealand but grew up and studied mostly in the UK. She gained an honours degree in geography at the University of Bristol after which she worked for seven years in Reading and Bristol as consultant Transport Planner. She worked on large residential development consents for private sector clients as well as supporting public sector clients with their district planning. She formalised her skills, by picking up a Master’s degree in Transport Planning at the University of Leeds.
After a year travelling the world, she returned to New Zealand to live and work in 2010. Settling in Wellington, Jo worked for Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency for 8 years leading the investigation stages of major transportation projects, including the Ōtaki to North of Levin Expressway, SH58 upgrades and the Petone to Grenada Link Road, using project management smarts and engagement with stakeholders to get results. She is proud to have shepherded the Waterfall Road project from conception to construction completion within 12 months – it can be done!
From 2017 to 2022 Jo in Abley’s Auckland office leading a team of dedicated professionals. In 2022 she continues to do this from our Wellington office to establish our presence there and build our client base. Working with others and shaping the team’s direction in response to the ever changing transport world is a rewarding challenge.
Studying at Leeds sparked an interest in price tensions in transport and their influence on travel behaviour. This has led to ongoing studies in this area, including winning the Engineering NZ Transportation Group study award into road pricing.
Jo is a founding committee member of the Transport Planning Society Aotearoa – a branch of the UK based Transport Planning Society, which has recently introduced the Transport Planning Professional into New Zealand through a pilot scheme. She was the first member of the NZ pilot scheme to successfully obtain the Transport Planning Professional accreditation in September 2023 and now works to help others through their application process.