WHY CHOOSE US

Clients and partners enjoy working with us – they appreciate our thinking, our safe pair of hands, our understanding, our presence of mind, humour, breadth of knowledge and acumen - and our enthusiasm.

Our company purpose: to mobilise passionate and capable people to tackle the challenges facing our society

We are a group of people who give a damn. This means we will work tenaciously with clients because we believe that together we can make a difference.

We are all about relationships – we choose carefully who we want to work with (that includes our staff, our partners and our clients).

No matter how we engage with our audiences we want them to say…

“I respect these people – they know what they are doing, they pushed our thinking, we loved working with them – and they knuckled down and delivered great work.”

We will make the hard calls, we will be direct and we will challenge – but we will always respect our clients’ wishes. In return we also expect respect and commitment from those we work with.

We give a damn

  • We care about our people and support them to become masters of their craft
  • We form lasting and trusting relationships with partners and clients
  • We want our clients to love what we do
  • We take pride in delivering our best – we do not compromise on quality

We are courageous

  • We are confident enough to challenge the status quo
  • We make the hard calls
  • We tell it how it is – we are direct and honest

We are determined

  • We are committed to making a difference – for our people, our clients and society.

We recruit staff, and embrace partners, who have walked in your shoes …

For our government clients that means we have worked in the public service, we have engaged with Ministers, we have written Cabinet papers, supported Bills through the House and compiled Official Information Act responses and ministerials. We have used your report templates, put together budget bids and led strategic and output planning processes, Statements of Intent, Briefings for Incoming Ministers etc, and engaged in Performance Improvement Framework reviews. We know how it works – and where it doesn’t, we know how to shift tack so that things just get done.

For businesses, we experience the same things you do, we need to meet regulatory expectations and have to manage our business to ensure business needs are met. However, we have a unique perspective given our strong public sector background and can help you put your position forward to government – in the language of government.

For Non-government organisations (NGOs), we have worked alongside NGOs for decades – as government partners and funders, as consultants helping NGOs meet their potential and secure necessary resources, volunteering our time on various NGO Boards, and through our pro bono programme.

We want our relationship with our clients to be a mutual beneficial partnership

This means that our Directors/Owners don’t just meet with you to sign contracts and then disappear.

All clients have a Director/Owner that manages the client relationship. (S)he will also be the Allen + Clarke project sponsor, for all of that client’s projects.

While the project manager for a specific project will be your first port of call on day to day matters, expect the project sponsor to be fully up to date on the project and to be engaging with you regularly (or as often as you would like).

We believe strongly that businesses can partner with governments to lead important societal change. As part of our efforts to support that idea, we operate a pro bono work stream.

Every year we undertake projects for organisations in areas which align well with our company values.  Our pro bono work has provided individuals and organisations with access to top quality, pragmatic policy and regulatory services on contemporary matters of public or community interest. We greatly value the experience gained from providing services to those who otherwise would not have access to this advice, but who have a genuine need for such services.

Organisations we have provided pro bono support to include New Zealand government agencies, NGOs and developing countries’ governments. Read about our 2016 pro bono support here.

Examples of recent pro bono projects are available here.
 

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Other ways Allen + Clarke directly supports our clients and communities include:

  • The provision of free desk reference guides for the public service. To date, these include guides on evaluation, regulation, procurement, consultation, use of evidence, the Official Information and Privacy Acts, and running effective secretariat services. New guides are being developed on regulatory stewardship, implementation of legislation, and engagement in different cultural settings.
    • To order hardcopies of our free desk guides, please get in touch.
    • To download the guides, please visit our Resources page.
  • Free ‘brown bag’ lunch seminars on machinery of government topics
  • Annual staff volunteering activities

 

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The following are some things our clients have said about us. We are happy to connect prospective clients up with people who have agreed to speak to the quality of our work and their experiences of working with us.

 

Allen + Clarke are easy to deal with, don’t come with either big egos or corporate overheads built in, and consistently get the job done … Allen + Clarke is client-focused, and I’ve always found them to be very responsive/agile if they’re asked to adjust things midway through an assignment.

I was very impressed with Allen + Clarke’s approach to leading our stakeholder consultations, that were focused on Pacific and Māori providers. The consultations were effectively run, with the appropriate adherence being given to cultural protocols such as blessings, welcomes and the sharing of food.”

In all respects, I have found the staff and management team to be highly professional and a pleasure to work with”.

Allen + Clarke has provided services across a range of areas for me over the past decade and consistently provided highly reliable and expert services. They provide excellent value for money, are a trusted provider, and responsive to our needs.

We enjoyed working with you and we found the interaction easy, smooth, informative. You were really good at keeping us informed of progress and bringing us in for discussions at appropriate times. And of course, you made the very tight deadlines, which was much appreciated.

Allen + Clarke are one of the best providers I work with.

We appreciated your enthusiastic engagement with the work and professional manner in which you approached the delivery of the services. Your knowledge of the New Zealand Aid priorities, specifically in the Pacific and the governance area was evident and came through in the discussion document and the presentation.

Allen + Clarke are excellent at assessing what we need and delivering to expectations.

Working with Allen and Clarke to prepare a stakeholder plan … was a real bonus. It gave us the benefit of an independent and professional look at who the ‘hard to reach’ stakeholders will be, confirming some ‘feelings’ we had, and alerting us to other issues we weren’t across. Other external partners clearly valued having a neutral ‘third party’ to talk to.

 

Our reputation stands or falls on delivery!

We have grown to be one of the biggest, if not the biggest, public policy consultant firms in New Zealand. The reason for this success is our focus on quality.

Our quality assurance systems include:

  • A Director directly holding the portfolio of Company QA
  • Project sponsors for all projects, supporting project managers
  • Internal Project Management and QA manuals, how-to guides, templates and tools
  • Senior-facilitated brainstorming and sense-making sessions
  • Formalised peer review and editing processes
  • The use of external steering groups, advisers and peer-reviewers
  • End of project reviews and client feedback processes
  • Structured knowledge transfer processes to build our staff and clients’
    capability

Yes – we sometimes make mistakes.

However, we sort mistakes out – quickly and transparently.

We pride ourselves on being a safe set of hands.

Allen + Clarke is an All-of-Government Panel provider

Allen + Clarke is a listed provider for the All of Government Consultancy Panel, receiving one of the highest quality rankings of all providers that have been reviewed for inclusion on the panel. We are listed under the following sub-categories of the consultancy panel:

Policy, Research and Development

Since 2000, Allen + Clarke has successfully completed over 800 policy, research and evaluation projects. Our team of consultants works across three practice areas: public policy; evaluation and research; and programme and secretariat support.

We work across all sectors, including in Māori and Pacific peoples’ policy. We are experts in the machinery of government including legislative processes, Cabinet processes, and supporting Ministers. Our senior personnel have considerable public sector experience, as well as experience from working for clients in Australia, the Pacific and Asia.

We provide services across the entire policy cycle. We undertake strategic and operational policy and regulatory design, implementation, and review. We develop inter-sectoral plans / strategies as well as a range of other planning and reporting documents. Our evaluation and research practice has a strong reputation for the improvement lens it applies to all its work. Our services are delivered in full compliance with government guidance and procedures but we pride ourselves on offering innovative approaches and a continuous improvement focus to everything we do. Our work includes project managing significant programmes of work in the public policy area.

Click here for examples of our work and clients.

Business Change

Since 2000, Allen + Clarke has undertaken over 150 projects that have had a substantive focus on business change processes and methodologies. These projects have included business change planning and implementation, business change advice, and reviews including consultation.

We support our clients with key aspects of change processes including development of initial conceptual design and supporting business cases, undertaking detailed design on preferred option(s), development of supporting business processes and process improvement, design of reporting and monitoring frameworks, and identification and management of risk.

We also undertake the deployment or implementation of change. We develop organisational strategic and output plans; annual plans, reports and budgets, statements of intent, governance manuals and a range of other outputs as part of the business change process. We achieve a number of our business change outcomes by undertaking excellent stakeholder engagement and consultation including testing policy and regulatory proposals, exploring service design options, evaluating the success of programmes, services and policies, testing client satisfaction, etc. We have extensive experience in engaging with Maori, Pasifika, Asian and other cultural groups; businesses, at-risk populations, and representatives of communities of interest, for example, groups representing the disabled.

Our focus in all our work is on ensuring that stakeholders are comfortable with the process, and that the design, development or implementation work has been undertaken by people who know what they are doing, apply innovative approaches where appropriate (and tried and tested methods always), and who keep the client informed and up to speed with progress.

Click here for examples of our work and clients.

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