Nick Carlaw

Partner | Hoa Pakihi
Wellington Office

Nick is valued by our clients for the way he works with them to understand their issues and develop practical solutions. He has worked with organisations in the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors, helping them to access funding and lift their performance.

Nick applies a broad range of skills and experience to three speciality areas: business cases, organisational performance and financial analysis and modelling. He quickly gets to grips with complex problems using a mix of strategic and analytical thinking.

Examples of Nick's work

  • Developing business cases that precisely meet client needs, drawing on the Better Business Case framework – Nick developed a business case for Queenstown Lakes District Council, for government funding that the Council would invest in housing, transport and water infrastructure to maintain Queenstown’s visitor experience and sustain tourism growth. The business case convinced government of the significant role Queenstown has in New Zealand’s economy and led to an agreement with government to implement a visitor levy to fund future investment in the region’s infrastructure.  
    Nick led a business case for Venture Taranaki to establish a New Energy Development Centre, to lift innovation in new energy and support New Zealand to transition to a low-emissions economy. The business case won Crown funding and the centre, Ara Ake – Future Energy Development, was launched in Taranaki. 
    He led the business case to establish a new central drinking water regulator. The business case identified the preferred form for the new institution, the capability and capacity it would need, and indicative costs of the new regulator. The business case was agreed by government and the new regulator – Taumata Arowai – was established. 

  • Reviewing central and local government organisations to improve performance – such as the Ministry of Education’s corporate services and MBIE’s corporate, governance and information group, and an independent review of the Environmental Protection Authority’s functions and funding.  

  • Advising public agencies on funding arrangements, including working out the optimal mix of government and third party funding – Examples include developing a new charging mechanism to allow Auckland Council to charge for the use of public space for commercial purposes; advising the Department of Internal Affairs on the funding arrangements for Taumata Arowai and the basis for charging levies to water service entities; and a first-principles review of the Environmental Protection Authority’s third-party funding arrangements across five regulatory regimes.  

Clients also benefit from the crossover in Nick’s specialist skills, such as his work for the Standards Council, where he assessed its financial sustainability, and also developed an alternative business model – which led to the new location of the standards function within MBIE.