What Clients Say

13 He’s one of those people that come to mind when I want certain pieces of work done. I don’t contact anyone else for that work.

I employ Stephen for project work relating to organisational design and developing leaders. He does that very effectively through building strong relationships, good writing skills and meeting time frames.

I find him really good to work with. He makes you feel confident that he knows what you want and I never have any doubt about his ability to deliver. He is very professional.

He makes sure he’s clear about the brief and really works to satisfy his clients which results in repeat business.

Stuart White

General Manager Special Jurisdictions, Ministry of Justice


We hired Stephen as a consultant on a significant change project. I would imagine that any project he took on he would manage supremely well. I was really impressed with the way Stephen orientated to the organisation. He really listened to what we wanted. As soon as he started he was able to anticipate our needs. Stephen got to grips really quickly with the heart and soul of the organisation. He was always thinking ahead. Stephen very much connected with the purpose of the organisation and deliberately become part of the organisation and I think people really appreciated that.

Stephen has great knowledge and personal skills and he was prepared to do whatever it took. He goes the extra mile. We were able to keep the organisation running at the same time the change management process was underway, because of Stephen’s ability to keep things highly flexible and his ability to stretch. Even though there was conflict in the organisation he was able to keep people’s confidence in the change process. Stephen’s ability to take staff with him has been incredible. He has a very respectful style. One of Stephen’s strengths is his ability to connect with people.

Stephen has a highly ethical approach. My sense is that Stephen is informed by his knowledge but that is something he doesn’t make explicit. He uses personal connections with people to encourage their ideas. There is a sense of purpose in what Stephen does. Stephen is able to use his own knowledge but give the impression that the knowledge is coming from the client. That’s a real skill.

Stephen sends a strong message that he’s working with senior management but inspires others to think that he’s not part of the power base. Stephen is stimulating to work with. He is very respectful, flexible and supportive.

I’d recommend Stephen to anybody. We’re going to be sorry when the project finishes.

Virginia MacEwan

Chief Executive Wellink Trust

I would recommend him to others for change management consulting and organisational development work. Stephen makes great contact with staff and management. He creates trust and mutual respect. He has good vision, experience-based expertise and good relationship management.

I look forward to working with Stephen. He feels more like a colleague than an external consultant.

Elizabeth Richardson

General Manager, Corporate Services Wellink Trust

I would hire Stephen for other leadership work but not only that – he has a generic understanding of project management frameworks. Stephen is able to turn information into a non-complex format for people to understand, for example, his input into the development and design of our leadership development management programme. The work Stephen does includes dealing with stakeholders and presenting information and he does this very well.

Stephen is very consultative and he’s very good at coaching and facilitating. He’s not a walk over either, he knows when he needs to push something. Stephen has developed the eight people in our team in a very pragmatic, nurturing and respectful way – they feel confident too. He holds a lot of mana. He has innate, natural ability that builds him the respect of the team.Stephen has a nice, calm way of delivering messages but with an authority that builds respect.

Stephen knows technically what he’s talking about. If someone in the team is struggling he has the ability to invest the time to help them get through it. Stephen’s excellent at relationship management on all levels; whether it’s the receptionist or the Chief Executive, he treats people with the same respect.

Stephen is very strong at listening and understanding what’s required, great at building relationships, and good at getting information and turning it into something meaningful. He has the ability to the get buy-in he needs to do the job well. If he has a deliverable he gets there.

Stephen is a genuinely nice man. He’s just lovely. He has been someone that I can be open and honest with, knowing he respects confidentiality. He’s a good sounding board.

Stephen is more than happy to impart his knowledge to other people. Stephen is very pragmatic, not afraid to push back on something if he doesn’t really believe in it and he sees things from different angles. Stephen knows his place as well. Being a contractor, it’s not always easy when you’re working alongside other staff, but he manages those relationships really well and is a team player.

Fleur Murray

Manager Organisational Capability

I would recommend Stephen for strategic organisational change and design. He’s definitely good at working at the strategic level. Stephen would be able to develop strategies for organisations from now to 2015. He’s got a wide range of strategic experience that organisations could hire him for. He could develop strategy for the entire workforce of an organisation.

Years ago I hired him for training programmes and performance-related work at Justice. Then, about 18 months after that, I brought him back in to do some specific work for my management team, HR change management work for the Coroners Court. I sang his praises.

Stephen takes the time to listen to the organisation, he asks questions and he respects others’ opinions. Stephen’s an investigator at heart, he won’t take anyone’s word as gospel. He’s very good at assessing the situation. Stephen’s a strategist. He won’t take a one-size-fits-all approach.

The project Stephen worked on wasn’t easy. There were a lot politics going on and he was fantastic at dealing with it. He’s very patient.

Stephen’s a good listener and you can trust him. He keeps confidences.

Stephen works across the business and he’s a good communicator. He’s a good problem resolver and he’s got tenacity. He’s focused. Stephen’s a good facilitator and will bring people back on-line if needed. The work Stephen does has longevity. What he puts in place, he puts in place for the long term. I don’t need to revisit the work that he does. He works out to be quite cheap really!

Stephen’s not opposed to getting his hands dirty. I’ve always enjoyed working with Stephen. He’s top class.

I like the fact that Stephen cares. He’s not a normal run of the mill consultant. You can have a really good discussion with him. He challenges and that’s the kind of person I like. He wants to get it right. I would recommend Stephen for strategic organisational change and design. He’s definitely good at working at the strategic level.

Hilary Kendall

Acting National Manager Tribunals Ministry of Justice

Stephen and I worked together on a big structural change project. I hired him to manage workstreams. As part of that work he led other people as well as doing a lot of the work himself. He worked closely with our business owner and our project sponsor, the people we were delivering this piece of work to.

He’s very good at working with people and listening to what they need. He works in a very flexible way and he’s a great facilitator. Stephen always delivers what is asked of him without exception. He does it in a way that I can just say ‘this is what needs to happen’ and he goes away and makes it happen. We set a timeline and he meets it. I don’t have to worry about how he meets it, I just know he will.

He’s good at having hard conversations with people if there’s anything that needs to happen differently. He is also very open to working in a collaborative and facilitative way. There were massive challenges in the project we worked on together. There was a lot of change in timeframes and I also asked him to pick up additional pieces of work which he did with ease. He kept abreast of everything and stayed completely flexible. He worked well outside of normal hours and just kept delivering to what he said he would do. He was absolutely committed to that work with us.

Stephen delivers very good quality work in a flexible manner. He does it with ease and in a way that never causes concern to me. I find Stephen very easy to work with. We have a similar belief in working collaboratively and we’re both facilitators so we speak the same language. Stephen’s very open to feedback if something needs to be done differently. From my point of view that’s very important. He doesn’t get stuck on his own ideas. He’s open to suggestions and discussion.

Stephen is really innovative and I consider him leading-edge around change and creative ways of working in the area of change. From my point of view, he has a great deal of knowledge and experience for people who need a change management expert.

Karen Eriksen

Senior Project Manager Ministry of Justice

Stephen provided advice on organisational design, communications, recruitment and induction on a number of projects.Almost without exception the organisational design work, the role development and the training material has absolutely met the expectations of the project managers. Top quality work.

Organisational design work does require good relationship skills and Stephen makes sure he develops relationships with the right people. He asks people the right questions and integrates himself completely within the project team and business unit the work is being done for. He very much interfaces all the way through. Doesn’t just do the job and leave.

I’ve heard nothing but praise from the work that he’s delivered. On one project the internal resource wasn’t delivering what was needed, and Stephen stepped in to make sure a high quality piece of work was delivered. We didn’t have that capability internally.

He’s got a high degree of respect for his profession and a high degree of knowledge in the organisational design space. To work with, Stephen is very personable, very interested and very engaged in the work and what is trying to be achieved. You feel like you’ve got his full attention. There’ve been a number of difficult meetings along the way and he manages to facilitate them.

In every respect my understanding of him is that he absolutely met or exceeded the expectations of the work he was working on. A real team player. Very down to earth and blends himself in with the work that needs to be done.

Stephen has had repeat business because he melds in with the culture and is a positive member of the team.

Martin Sheffield

Programme Manager Special Jurisdictions Project Unit Ministry of Justice

Stephen’s a good mentor and a ‘voice of reason’ when I’ve been less than reasonable.

Stephen is excellent with issues relating to organisational change and strategic direction. He’s been absolutely superb in working with us through the change process. Stephen’s good at working with different groups of people. He’s good at mediating and facilitating meetings with difficult people when you’re trying to get to an outcome.

Stephen performed very well at Forest and Bird. It was a political environment and he performed as I had expected him to. I had worked with him before in another organisation so I knew his work.

He helped me with identifying many of the issues in the restructure. He helped me with the new structure, appointment of staff to new roles, redundancies, mediation and also worked with our legal counsel. It as a real bonus to get Stephen to come and do this work for me. I thought he’d be too busy to take it on, but he juggled it with other work commitments for which I was very grateful. He met the deadlines, put himself out by working incredible hours and achieved everything.

He’s organised, calm and not reactionary. He’s even-handed, sympathetic and a good listener. His calmness was respected by my Executive. He’s good at dealing with people. And in some ways that’s his main attribute, along with his knowledge of organisational change. He gained experience working for me at Forest and Bird particularly being exposed to the politics that was going on at the time. He had to deal with some pretty confrontational staff on some occasions.

Stephen really was the shoulder I leant on during the change process. It was a very difficult process. He’s great. You can trust him and he delivers what he’s supposed to do and more.

Mike Britton

General Manager Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society of New Zealand

Stephen provided the organisational design methodology and analysis expertise we needed on a project. The organisation design was behind schedule and we were concerned that there wasn’t sufficient robust analysis behind the work that had been done so far. Stephen gave us what we needed in a timely manner and he was very flexible. He assisted us at very short notice and that was appreciated. He leveraged internal resources well and focused on the bits we really needed him for.

Stephen was called in at short notice and was already committed to other work so he had to work around other commitments. I was very satisfied with how he performed given those time constraints.

There were gaps in the data. He sat down with other staff to close the gaps and he was very methodical about how he did this; he used his time well. Stephen is focused. The work he did for us was the equivalent of about four days work and he delivered the work we wanted in the timeframe we requested. There was no fluff around the edges, he just focused on the work that he needed to do.

Stephen is very easy to work with. He’s a very affable, engaging person and very good at establishing and maintaining good working relationships. He was reliable and that’s important when you’re faced with time constraints.

Ultimately, I suppose the question is: would you be happy to work with that person again? I’d say yes, I would be happy to work with Stephen again.

Steve Taylor

Business Planning Workstream Leader Tribunals Reform Project Ministry of Justice

I have worked with Stephen on organisational design and recruitment. Stephen is extremely good at communicating and is very responsive to suggestions or input. He delivers quality work as a consequence. Stephen is very positive in the way he approaches things and is extremely responsive when faced with changing circumstances.

Stephen’s strengths are his ability to communicate. He quickly reaches the nub of the issue and quickly grasps the complexity of the situation. Stephen is a very positive person to work with.

National Manager

Ministry of Justice