Barton Deakin announced:
Barton Deakin Government Relations to open first New Zealand office
Australia’s leading government relations firm Barton Deakin is set to open its first New Zealand office in Wellington next week. The New Zealand office will be headed by Jenna Raeburn, who has recently departed the office of Hon Gerry Brownlee.
“We have a unique offering in the New Zealand Government Relations market. Barton Deakin will be a truly trans-Tasman company, with a focus on one side of politics, specialising purely in government relations. This offers our clients particular advantages that have not been available in New Zealand before,” says Ms Raeburn.
“It makes sense for our Australasian and global clients that they have a one stop shop for government relations across Australia and New Zealand. We also offer a brand new breadth of service to New Zealand companies looking to do business with the Australian government, and vice versa.
“Barton Deakin is proudly aligned with Liberal and National Party Governments and Oppositions – it is not a bipartisan firm. Our approach is highly specialised and focused on helping clients to build strong relationships with government.”
This is an interesting development.
I know Jenna of course – have been friends since she was 18 years old (and spokesperson for Keep It 18).
It is a new development for NZ to have a government relations firm that deals with one side of politics only. It is relatively common in other countries such as Australia and the US. The approach has pros and cons – a firm that deals with one party only may be more trusted by members of that party. However the flip side is you won’t get any traction with parties on the other side.
In Australia and the US, both the main parties almost always hold government somewhere. In NZ, we have no state governments, hence why this model hasn’t been tried here before. But I can’t say a change of government looks likely any time soon, so its good time to establish a branch here.