Consultation + Engagement

Consultation and engagement plays a vital role in facilitating communication and collaboration between organisations, communities and stakeholders.

Abley’s Consultation and Engagement (C&E) team partners with stakeholders and communities to shape and deliver consultation and tactical engagement strategies in a planned and effective way.

Ensure that decision-making processes are inclusive, transparent, and responsive

The focus of our C&E team is to reduce reputational risk, minimise project delays and maximise stakeholder support. Being IAP2 certified, our team provides well-designed consultation and engagement from the beginning, continuing across project phases and delivering successful outcomes for clients and communities.

Our approach

We help our clients engage in a meaningful way with their community and stakeholders and have powerful conversations that add value to project outcomes. We look to understand stakeholders and the expectations of the community, and ensure they feel heard, respected, and part of the decision-making process. 

In addition to consultation, effective engagement requires us to clearly manage all parties’ expectations, competing priorities and budgets, applying an agile approach for best outcomes.

Our team have experience setting engagement strategies and engaging with:

  • The public
  • Waka Kotahi funders, business case reviewers and subject matter specialists
  • Local government, elected officials, transport planning and communications and engagement project teams
  • Mana whenua
  • Walking, cycling, disability and older population advocacy groups
  • Business and community groups

We have a proven track record in:

  • Designing and delivering community and stakeholder tactical engagement strategies
  • Assessing and managing stakeholder and community engagement risk and issues
  • Facilitating productive group workshops, public meetings, and forums of all sizes
  • Preparing communication material that explains technical concepts in plain English
  • Preparing engagement reports and social impact assessments validating problem statements, and providing evidence-based narrative
  • Integrating the results of stakeholder engagement processes into project outcomes.

Our clients:

Waka Kotahi logo
LGWM logo
Dunedin City Council logo
Tauranga City Council logo

How do we do it?

We design comprehensive engagement tactics and strategies that meet individual project needs and offer the full range of community and stakeholder engagement tools and techniques, including:

  • Tactical and sequenced engagement planning
  • Communication and Engagement Plans
  • Extensive knowledge of online and engagement tools e.g. Social Pinpoint, Qualtrics, Survey Monkey, Consultation Manager
  • Range of engagement techniques tailored to specific audiences e.g. digital, and in-person surveys, stakeholder workshops, public drop-in sessions, councillor briefings, letter drops, visual displays, social media campaigns, webinars
  • Analysing feedback and data and preparing engagement reports for public, elected official and key partners audiences
LGWM engagement

Examples of our work

Abley’s C&E team manage successful community and stakeholder engagement for a range of local government transport planning, engineering, and business projects. Examples include:

  • Let’s Get Wellington Moving (LGWM), City Street – Abley lead stakeholder and public engagement on six City Streets, LGWM corridors to validate prelim design and shape business cases. This involves tactical engagement planning, developing content and collateral, engaging with the public and key stakeholders through webinars, drop-in sessions, online surveys, and workshops and developing engagement reports for elected officials, LGWM Transport Advisory Group and partners, and the public.
  • Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency – Abley lead the consultation and engagement on safety improvements on State Highway 2 in Remutaka, Wellington. Work involves informing and engaging the wider community, businesses, local government, transport, and advocacy groups on proposed safety improvements, and seeking feedback to understand views on improvements, closing the loop through a staged communications approach on next steps for design and engagement. Engagement tactics include focused key stakeholder workshops, letter drops to impacted residents, working with the Regional Transport Alliance to align activities and narrative, and developing content to distribute through digital, radio, and direct channels.
  • Tauranga City Council – Abley was appointed by Tauranga City Council to develop a single stage business case (SSBC) that identifies a suitable location for a Public Transport hub within the city centre, to be integrated with the city centre and active transport networks. A significant aspect of the development of the SSBC was to engage with the Tauranga community, to understand their views on location and required facilities, and to analysie feedback from key stakeholders, businesses, and the public along the PT spine to inform the business case. Engagement tactics included stakeholder workshops, in-person and digital survey campaign, social media campaign and business letter drop.

Working with the team at Abley on the Tauranga Central City Bus Interchange project has been simple, easy, and effective. From the technical expertise through to stakeholder and wider public engagement activities, their responsive and supportive approach has exceeded our expectations and is ensuring we deliver effective and efficient outcomes

Tom McEntyre, Team Leader – Transport Development, Tauranga City Council

Tauranga City Council logo

Contact our Consultation + Engagement specialist

Cath Jacobs
Associate Director, Consultation + Engagement