Kerry Arnold was born in Wellington on Christmas Eve, 1952 and as a child lived in the Public Works camp on the eastern side of Porirua. He grew up surrounded by the Caterpillar bulldozers his father operated for the Public Works Department. Watching his father work on machinery rubbed off on him, and when he was a pre-schooler he removed the front wheels from his new pedal car, much to his parents chagrin.
It was no surprise then when Kerry went to Wellington Polytechnic for both trade training in fitting turning and machining and a New Zealand Certificate in Engineering.
Kerry was keen to get on with life, marrying Marjorie Ann Laurent and working afternoons at a local garage in Elsdon all while still at Wellington Polytech. He was offered an apprenticeship as a motor mechanic at the garage in Elsdon, but his father promptly stepped in and made arrangements for a mechanical apprenticeship at the Ministry of Works Workshop. Kerry worked for the Ministry of Works for over 10 years in a variety of jobs from Leading Hand to Manager, working on projects like laying a fibre-optic cable system, refitting power stations and salvaging a derailed locomotive and a grounded ship.
In 1987 he became the technical officer at the New Zealand Road Transport Association, where he still represents the industry today. His first day at NZRTA was a bit fraught as he attended a meeting between stock operators and the officials who wanted every stock truck fitted with effluent tanks. It was an animated meeting to say the least.
He worked hard in his first years, becoming a participating member of the NRB axle weights and loadings committee and gaining membership to the Institute of Road Transport Engineers New Zealand. He attended the second, third and fourth annual international symposiums on heavy vehicle weights and dimensions and used these opportunities to study various international transport industries. In the mid-1990s Kerry began making real headway into transport policy. Some highlights were when he authored and presented an NZRTA submission for an Inquiry into Truck Crashes to the Parliamentary Transport Select Committee and worked on the Transit New Zealand Heavy Vehicle Limits Project. In the mid-2000s Kerry was appointed Road Transport Forum Technical Manager which gave him more leverage to represent the industry. In 2006 he attended the International Road Transport Union 30th World Congress in Dubai and signed the IRU Dubai declaration which supports all members in sustainable development. In the early-2010s he presented to the Australian Road Freight Advisory Council on New Zealand’s experience with Operator Rating Systems and helped lower bound vehicles to operate at class 1 axle limits, which has since evolved into 50MAX. Kerry is held in high regard throughout the country for his work for the Road Transport industry. In 2013 he received the IRTENZ Transport Award for Outstanding Industry Service and now he is an inductee into the New Zealand Transport Hall of Fame.