Consultancy services

New Zealand's expertise in consultancy work has evolved from the country's background in research, innovation and reform.

  • Consultancy image


The consulting industry in New Zealand grew out of the need to help the commercial and social environment adapt to changes brought about by the deregulation of the 1980s.

We now apply this expertise around the world.

Currently, New Zealand's largest consultancy sector is engineering design. This includes project management, transportation asset management, and specialised fields such as seismic engineering, where New Zealand is a world leader.

Other consulting services include agriculture, communications, economic development, emergency and disaster relief, energy and power services, environmental management and conservation, fisheries and marine resources, forestry, health, legal, organisational and social support and development, resource management, tourism and transportation, urban planning and physical infrastructure and water supply and sanitation.

International industry successes

  • Assisting countries with earthquake risk assessment and mitigation, and emergency, disaster and risk management.
  • Advising governments on economic growth and environmental management.
  • Designing infrastructure solutions for transport and water-related services.
  • Helping with policy development and implementation of education reforms.

Since the reforms of the 1980s, government agencies in New Zealand have been notable for:

  • the appointment of departmental chief executives on fixed terms, with annual performance agreements with relevant government ministers
  • the application of accrual accounting practices
  • the creation of smaller single purpose agencies, often following the principle of splitting policy from operational, and funding from providers
  • the use of competitive contracting out of many public services to private sector and community based service agencies
  • a process of corporatisation, commonly followed by full privatisation.

International innovations

Examples of innovative New Zealand companies that have created demand for their products and services overseas include:

Airways International

Airways International specialises in controller training, project managing air traffic management system and associated infrastructure for civil aviation authorities, airports and air traffic control organisations in the Pacific, Asia and Middle East.

Under the United States Federal Aviation Authority's Advanced Technologies and Oceanic Procedures (ATOP) programme, Airways is delivering controller training via Lockheed Martin. In China, Airways is implementing its aviation billing system for the Civil Aviation Administration of China.


The carboNZero programme (which includes CEMARS® and carboNZero certification) offers robust tools for organisations (or individuals, products, services and events) to measure, manage and mitigate their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (carbon footprint), with the highest level of credibility and integrity. It was developed in 2001 from over 15 years of expert scientific research on GHG emissions measurement, management and reporting by Landcare Research New Zealand Ltd, one of New Zealand's leading Crown Research Institutes.

CarbonZero is the first GHG certification scheme in the world to be internationally accredited to ISO 14065 through the Joint Accreditation System of Australia and New Zealand. The programme is recognised in over 50 major world economies and can be applied as a best practice standard across businesses operations ensuring consistency of emissions measurement, credibility of reduction and offsetting activity and independent verification and certification of claims.

CarboNZero certification is offered in Australia, Chile, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates.

Earthquake Engineering New Zealand

Earthquake Engineering New Zealand is a cluster of companies with expertise in earthquake engineering, seismology and related services. It pulls together multi-disciplinary teams to work on projects around the world, for example, Beca International Consultants helped Turkish consulting engineers, Prota, carry out an earthquake risk assessment study for 200 apartments in Istanbul.

It has also undertaken building code work in numerous markets including Nepal, Romania and Indonesia. Members of the cluster, including Beca International and Holmes Consulting Group, have also been involved in earthquake mitigation work in California.

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