The chief executive of Otago Regional Council will be the new boss of Wellington's multi-billion-dollar transport plan.
Let's Get Wellington Moving (LGWM) is proposing light rail for the city, a second Mt Victoria tunnel, removing private vehicles from the Golden Mile, and other walking and cycling improvements.
After more than a year of searching for someone to take on the programme director position, LGWM announced this afternoon Sarah Gardner has been appointed.
In March last year, then programme director Andrew Body resigned from his position after a scathing review found the transport project was at risk of failing and had a detrimental culture. Body had been in the role for 18 months.
He had previously been accused of making a sexist comment to a local businesswoman after he told her: "You look better in the paper than you do in real life".
Body subsequently acknowledged the comment was careless and apologised.
Since Body made his exit, David Dunlop, who was the former technical director of LGWM, has been the acting programme director.
Gardner was born in Wellington and later raised her family there.
She has held executive roles in both local and central government across New Zealand and in the New South Wales State Government in Australia.
Most recently, Gardner has led regional transport planning and public transport across Otago.
Gardner said LGWM was ambitious and would significantly change how people move and live in Wellington.
"This is one of the biggest and boldest programmes of work currently undertaken in Aotearoa. I'm thrilled to be appointed to lead Let's Get Wellington Moving as it enters this essential design and delivery phase and support the team and community to create a greener and even more liveable capital."
LGWM independent board chairman Dave Brash said they were fortunate to have a high-calibre professional coming on board as the project moved into the design and delivery phase.
He also thanked Dunlop for his leadership and contribution.
"David stepped into the role following a period of transition for Let's Get Wellington Moving and his experience, professionalism and positivity has been integral to getting Let's Get Wellington Moving to where it is today."
Gardner will start the position in June.