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Our people are our business - team is important.

There's no room for people who don't fit. So at The Project Office we're pretty particular about who we employ.  The test for us when selecting our people is "would we want this person working on our project in our office?" 

At The Project Office we look for people who are highly skilled, technically excellent and professionally accomplished.  More than that they have to be a person you want on the team, a good contributor, constructive and a great communicator.

Range and depth of experience in real industries

To be an effective Project Manager you need to have good industry experience and be great at solving problems.  Accordingly our people come from diverse technical backgrounds.  Some were architects in previous lives, some were engineers, some were quantity surveyors, we've even got a geologist, but all of them come with in-depth industry experience, a passion for Project Management and for doing a great job.

Small team, personal attention

One of the benefits of being small is that every client works directly with an owner of the business, someone who has a vested interest in making sure you are happy with what we do for you.

Peter Chudleigh, Andrew Haig, Sam Davis and Ashton Peters are the owners of The Project Office.

Within the wider team, The Project Office has a number of experienced Project Managers at your service.



Peter started The Project Office in 2010 having lead project management organizations for over 13 years.  Establishing The Project Office stemmed from a desire to establish a highly personalised professional project management service with a strong team of skilled and experienced people focused on and based in the local market.

"It's been fantastic to receive great support both from clients and industry throughout the first 2 years of business. Christchurch and the South Island are small communities and we really value the relationships we have throughout the city and region. It's great to be able to support local business, particularly post-earthquake as we've all had to re-establish our businesses and respond to the situation."

In Previous Lives

Peter originally qualified as a Quantity Surveyor. He moved into project management 17 years ago and has been one of a small number of professional Project Managers working and leading project management organisations in Christchurch since the 1990s.

Client Projects

The Christchurch Jet Engine Testing Centre

In 2003 the Christchurch Engine Centre engaged Cenco to develop a new jet engine testing facility in Christchurch to test and support servicing of its V2500 jet engines. Peter was engaged by Cenco to project manage the design, construction, supply of specialist equipment and commissioning.

The project required the adaption of established US designs to work with New Zealand design and construction techniques and regulations. The facility had sophisticated technology requirements which required modification for the NZ environment. Peter led the team that developed the design and identified NZ industry partners to design and develop unique solutions for the facility.

The facility was completed late in 2004 and is now established as the designated Master Test Cell for facilities of this type.

The Christchurch Art Gallery

Peter was the Project Director for the development of the Christchurch Art Gallery. Involved from the outset of the project, Peter worked with the City Council and Art Gallery teams to develop a brief for the new facility, establish the feasibility and subsequently through all aspects of the development to the Gallery's completion in 2003.

View Project >

St Margaret's College

Peter is the Project Director working with St Margaret's College on the repair and remediation of their campus following the Christchurch earthquakes.

View Project >

Areas of Specialisation

Master Planning

Peter has lead a number of Master Planning projects working with clients to anticipate their future property and facilities needs driven from their business strategy. In this role he works with clients to consider their current capacity and utilisation and to consider opportunities for optimisation alongside development and redevelopment opportunities, the outcome being a coordinated Master Plan that meets the future business needs of the client.


Peter has considerable experience of working with clients to manage concept and design processes through feasibility processes. He is experienced in putting together business cases for clients and working with senior managers and governors to achieve project approvals and sign-offs.

Project Strategy & Governance

Peter is experienced in developing project strategy at the outset of projects working across the interface of commercial and business drivers and integrating those with facilities and infrastructure requirements. He is experienced at working with stakeholder engagement processes and resource management considerations. In addition he works with Boards to provide assurance around feasibility, budget and process risk associated with projects.

Sam Davis


  • B.Sc (Hons) (University of Canterbury)

  • ME (Managment) (Distinction) (University of Canterbury)

  • PMP

021 663 831


Sam's primary role is as Project Director leading major projects for The Project Office. He's currently leading The University of Canterbury earthquake recommendation works.

Sam joined The Project Office in its first few months having always aspired to play a part in owning and building a business. "The Project Office was a chance to be involved from the start and to grow a business that reflects our values and how we want to do business. It's an opportunity to build something special, and to develop strong long-term relationships with local clients".

In Previous Lives

Sam's background is in environmental engineering and resource management. After completing University he spent a number of years working as a consulting engineer in New Zealand and in the UK, before moving into project management on his return to New Zealand in 2004.

Client Projects

Project Dart, NZ Rail

Project Dart was a major upgrade to the Auckland rail network undertaken by NZ Rail, Auckland City Council, Auckland Regional Transport Authority and Auckland Regional Council. Sam's role was to develop the procurement strategy and lead the management of early contract involvement for the development of Newmarket Junction and Grafton stations. Between 2007 and 2009 he led the strategy, tenders, contract negotiations and preparation for construction. Sam was also involved in the preparation and negotiation of funding agreements between NZ Rail, ARTA and ACC for a number of stations.

North Bank Tunnel, Meridian Energy

Sam has worked with Meridian on a number of projects, the most recent being the North Bank Tunnel Project. The North Bank Tunnel Project is Meridian Energy's proposed hydro scheme for the Waitaki River, downstream of the existing Waitaki Dam. The scheme involves taking water from above the dam and running it through a series of canals and tunnels on the north side of the river, before discharging the water back into the Waitaki at Blackpoint.

Throughout 2010, Sam worked on secondment with Meridian's team to establish project management systems and processes for the feasibility design phase for this project

View Project >

University of Canterbury

Sam is the Project Director working with the University of Canterbury on their earthquake remediation and facilities re-development, following the recent Canterbury earthquakes.

Working with the University's Capital Projects team, Sam is leading the team responsible for meeting the temporary teaching and learning facilities needs and managing the assessment, repair and upgrade of the University's many multi-storey buildings.

Following the February 2011 earthquake, Sam managed a rapid design and construction process for the development of two temporary learning villages totaling 15,000 sqm. Both villages were up and running between three and six months of inception, allowing students to be relocated from the tents that were being used as temporary lecture space.

View Project >

Areas of Specialisation

Project Director

Sam is experienced in working and leading teams on large projects. He maintains the overview of the entire project and establishes assurance processes to manage the progress of large complex projects. He works confidently throughout the life-cycle of a project providing strategy advice and assurance to the client and providing leadership and direction to project teams.


Sam has spent a number of years working with clients to develop procurement strategies to suit specific project requirements and client drivers. He is experienced in working with a number of approaches including Early Contractor and Alliance forms of contract, and experienced with a number of forms of contract including NZS:3910, NEC, and NZIA. Sam always maintains a 'best for project' approach and does not subscribe to a 'one size fits all' attitude.

Project Structuring and Assurance

Having worked on a number of large projects, Sam is experienced in establishing project management structures and systems. He works quickly with the client team to design frameworks and establish systems and processes for managing complex project requirements.

Andrew Haig


  • NZCAD (Otago Polytechnic)

021 630 451


Andrew is responsible for the office culture and people, with a focus on professional development for the team. Andrew also oversees The Project Office Quality Assurance systems and processes.

Andrew's decision to join The Project Office stemmed from a desire to build a locally owned, high quality professional project management consultancy. "Having worked in architecture practices for a number of years, the opportunity to grow our own business with our own culture and focus on quality client service was really attractive.  It's great seeing our team grow both as people and professionals".

In Previous Lives 

Andrew worked in professional architectural practices both in New Zealand and the UK before transitioning to project management five years ago to broaden his involvement in project decision making and leadership.

Client Projects

Christchurch International Airport Limited

Andrew worked with the airport company on a number of projects between 2007 and 2011. From 2008 to 2010 Andrew lead the airport company's project to develop the International Terminal retail offering.  Andrew lead the development of a fully costed, coordinated concept before taking it through to detailed design, contractor selection and construction management.  Within his role he led tenancy coordination work with the duty-free and other retail operators throughout the project.

He also worked with the airport company on the Integrated Terminal Project, managing design and stakeholder management including liaison with airline, baggage handling, retail and hospitality tenants as the design for the new integrated domestic and international terminal was developed through to the completion of Stage I.

View Project >

Lincoln University

Andrew is leading the project to replace the University's commercial kitchen facilities and enhance the existing dining hall and cafeteria.  The project has involved developing a coordinated concept design to include all services and structures and in parallel develop a temporary solution to enable the University's commercial catering business to continue to serve the 1800 meals a day required to feed the students and staff.  The project is due for completion in August 2012.

View Project >

Northlands Shopping Centre

Andrew has worked with Kiwi Property to lead various works at Kiwi Property's Christchurch Asset - Northlands Shopping Centre. While coordinating a number of tenancy refurbishment, upgrades, and fitouts Andrew managed the redevelopment of the Farmers Trading Company tenancy. Both tenant and landlord collaborated to achieve a common end goal, and with early contractor involvement during design Andrew provided crucial facilitation and direction of a large team toward a very successful completion within tight budgetary constraints.

Areas of Specialisation 

Project Director

Andrew is experienced in working across all aspects of large and complex projects and establishing project structure and disciplines. His years of work in architectural practices mean he is experienced working in multi-disciplinary teams and providing leadership and direction.

Design Management

Coming from a design background, Andrew has an in-depth understanding of design and associated disciplines resulting in more fully developed and de-risked design solutions for the client.

Contract Management and Procurement

It is important the most suitable contract form is applied to your project. It is equally important the contract is driven appropriately for the type of project - Andrew has the ability to advise on contract type and will enforce the necessary rigour toward successful completion of the project.

Stakeholder Management

A number of organisations are involved in airport developments and each have different goals toward their efficient operation. Andrew has been able to facilitate stakeholders toward a common satisfaction within complex projects - this skill is important within most projects and Andrew has the personality to carefully manage this toward a common goal.
Andrew has worked extensively in residential, retail, educational and hospitality sectors and is familiar with all aspects of airport operations.

Ashton Peters


  • BE (Mech) (Hons) (University of Canterbury)

  • PhD (Mech)

  • PMP

021 630 459


Risk Identification & Assessment

Ashton has experience in working on development projects in high risk facilities and environments. In the course of his roles he has developed experience in establishing and managing systems to identify, mitigate and manage risks to personnel, equipment, facilities and the environment.

Procurement Management

Ashton has experience in tendering, selection and management of contracts.  He is familiar with developing procurement approaches to meet a client's unique time and project needs and works with the client to tailor an approach that's going to deliver against the client's critical business and project outcomes.

Project Documentation (Complex Projects)

Ashton's work on large complex projects means that he has developed and managed complex project documentation frameworks.  Working on multi-billion dollar projects Ashton is experienced in working with multi-tiered documentation approaches reporting into Project Directors, Senior Management Teams and Boards.  This necessarily means Ashton has a strong understanding of project programming and scheduling. 

In Previous Lives

Having completed his undergraduate degree and PhD in the mechanical engineering field, Ashton decided to make a shift in career away from the research and technical focus of his doctorate and use his in-depth knowledge to provide an interface between the technical experts and the client.  His move into Project Management in 2007 is the manifestation of that shift and during his time in Australia he's worked on large, technical and complex projects calling on his technical background in his role as project manager.

Client Projects

Facilities Engineer, Wheatstone LNG Project

Ashton was responsible for managing cost, schedule, and quality of highly-specified equipment fabricated by international vendors for a subsea gas project. In this role he developed and authored a detailed construction philosophy used to manage a critical equipment installation risk.  In addition he created and championed a comprehensive technical change management procedure to ensure robust change control between project engineering, vendors and contractors during detailed design and fabrication.

Project Execution Engineer, Wheatstone LNG Project

Ashton played a significant role in the development of the construction phase Project Execution Plan for the entire AU$28B project scope. During this phase of the project he was custodian and champion of the Project Key Decision Process, ensuring appropriate rigor was applied to all key design phase decisions with significant project impact (>AU$100M capital expenditure).  In addition he prepared information packages supporting external Joint Venture Partner project investment that required coordinating input from legal, commercial, and technical experts.

Facilities Engineer, Gorgon LNG Project

Ashton managed, verified and assured the engineering contractor's delivery of a range of onshore mechanical equipment packages, from design through to fabrication. He led the team responsible for framing and delivering a revised concept design for a permanent seawater intake and outfall and coordinated process safety reviews of numerous temporary and permanent utility systems in this high risk environment.

Why I Love What I Do

Ashton enjoys applying technical expertise to address real world issues. 

"I enjoy being able to connect people across disciplines and organisations to make sense of complicated problems.  It's the really fulfilling part of my job."

Matt Jones


  • BA (Social Sciences) (University of Otago)

  • Construction Management, Diploma (partially completed) (Open Polytechnic of New Zealand)

021 630 922


Development Planning & Commercialisation

Having worked with some of  Asia's largest and most dynamic development companies Matt understands and has worked across the entirety of the development process in, from master planning, commercialisation and sourcing of financial partners through to the development of sales and marketing materials and of course the all-important phase of handover and fit out to end user.  He understands the complexities that arise in development projects and is experienced at working through those with the client, investors and regulators.

Contract Administration

Matt's experience in the construction industry in a number of countries means he has practical experience of working with a number of contractual arrangements.  He is experienced in matching the contract structure to the unique situation and culture of each project. Matt understands that establishing clear and concise contracts provides the foundation to the success of every project. 

Stakeholder Relationship Management

Matt's experience of working on a number of international projects involving multiple stakeholders from different countries means Matt has experience of working across territories and cultures.  He brings a clear understanding of the international communication process which assists mitigating potential areas of conflict and allows the project lifecycle to continue unobstructed.

In Previous Lives

For the last four years Matt has been involved in heading up a boutique project management firm located in a winter resort on Japan's northern most islands of Hokkaido. During that time he developed and oversaw some of the cornerstone projects of the resort including the largest serviced apartment development in the area and the resort's only gated community.

Prior to this he was located in Europe and worked in France and Switzerland

Matt is a returning Kiwi who with his family is keen to contribute to the rebuild of Christchurch.

Client Projects

Shiki Apartment Complex, Niseko

Working with the Low Yat Group, one of Malaysia's biggest developers, the Shiki project was a multi-use snow resort development in close proximity to one of Japan's northern snow facilities.  Matt oversaw the project from the tender process through to fit out and handover. The project consists of 68 serviced apartments, mixed use food & beverage facilities and one of the most technologically advanced snow management systems in Hokkaido. The project team and consultants was truly international working from bases in Australia, China, Malaysia and Japan.  Matt project managed the team through the life of the project reporting directly to the Board of Low Yat Group.

The Chalets at Country Resort

Working with Niseko Resorts Group from Hong Kong, Matt's role was to head the team to manage the construction of 33 luxury chalets.  Critical roles included helping to source appropriate sites, developing the master plan for the community, and overseeing the development consent process with the central government. Crucial to the success of this project was the management of the large volumes of variation orders and the tracking and communication of these to relevant parties.

ECO 260

Working with a French developer Matt oversaw the construction of the largest and most opulent private residence in the resort village of Hirafu. The building utilized the latest geothermal heat pump technology to heat the building and hot water and 52 Kyocera solar panels to supplement the electrical supply.  Essentially a showcase for leading environmental technologies, ECO 260 was conceptualised as demonstrating leadership in bespoke environmental solutions while capturing the very essence of luxury.  This 932sqm six-storey mansion is unique and truly iconic in this alpine environment.

Why I Love What I Do

For Matt it is about the relationships developed throughout the process and the people aspects of the construction process.
"The critical deliverable for me is the satisfaction and happiness of all relevant stakeholders at the end of a project. Although budget and scheduling are of critical importance, ongoing relationships are the cornerstone to any successful Project Manager's portfolio." 


Jenn Bestwick


  • LLB Hons (University of Trent, Nottingham)

  • Solicitors Examinations (Chester College of Law)

021 768 812


Project Strategy Development

Jenn has worked with the leadership teams of a number of clients over the years to help them scope and plan their strategic projects.  Coming from a business and management consulting background, Jenn brings experience from a broad range of sectors which supports the swift identification of client's key issues and opportunities and translates them into tangible projects and outcomes.

Project Direction

Jenn has been in the Project Director and/or Client representative role on a number of projects.  Her ability to align the project progress and deliverables with organizational outcomes and requirements ensures that projects deliver on organization needs both throughout the life of the project and on completion

Organisational and Project Governance

Jenn's experience as a director of a number of organizations means she is well placed to establish the disciplines and processes required to monitor organizational and/or project progress.  Design and establishment of performance monitoring and reporting frameworks is a critical part of the experience that Jenn brings to an organization or project.

In Previous Lives

Jenn spent many years working with KPMG leading their Auckland strategic management consulting practice before moving to Christchurch.  She went on to manage a day surgical hospital before working with Ngai Tahu.  More recently Jenn was working with Environment Canterbury on the implementation of the Canterbury Water Management Strategy

Client Projects

Ngai Tahu - Whai Rawa a tribal distribution and savings scheme

Jenn lead the project that conceptualised and established the Iwi's tribal distribution scheme.  A hybrid between a superannuation and unit trust scheme, Whai Rawa required support from the government for changes to the tax treatment of tribal distributions and consideration by the Securities Commission of its special provision.  The scheme now has approximately iwi 20,000 members actively saving into it.

Midland Health, Well Child Screening Programme - Tamariki Ora

This project was the fore-runner to the national well child programme and involved working across clinical disciplines to reach agreement on the optimal wellness schedule for children under 5.  Jenn lead the development of the programme through to implementation including liaison with the Ministry of Health, health providers, iwi and whanau groups as well consultation with the general public.

Environment Canterbury, Canterbury Water Management Strategy

Jenn worked with Environment Canterbury to move the Canterbury Water Management Strategy from conceptual into operation.  Building upon the agreement between the various parties, Jenn involved working with all of the stakeholder groups engaged in the freshwater debate to develop processes for community engagement leading to the development of water management policy.

Why I Love What I Do

"I love working with clients on projects that are important to their business or industry.  Understanding the challenges they're facing and working with the client to come up with ways of solving or progressing those issues is very rewarding and delivers huge value for the organisation."

Project Management Team

Amanda Batchelor

  • BE (Mech) (Hons); University of Canterbury

  • ME (Mech) (Dist); University of Canterbury

(03) 365 4328


Programme & Project Management

Amanda has undertaken a wide number of roles involving programme & project management, procurement and contract management.  Her experience has been a mixture of office and site based roles, and includes regularly acting as Engineer's Representative.

From a programme perspective, she has held a number of positions beginning with contract administration to more recently being responsible for the set-up, definition, and delivery of several large scale programmes.  This familiarity with a range of project lifecycle phases provides Amanda with a sound understanding of the implications upfront decisions may have on the latter stages of a project.

Design Management

With a technically based background, and experience in the industrial, buildings, residential and food and beverage sectors, Amanda holds an in-depth understanding of engineering design and design management. This makes her a good fit for technically challenging projects, as she is able to anticipate and mitigate technical risks early on, and subsequently challenge design consultants to deliver the best solution for the client.

Stakeholder Relationship Management

Amanda has experience on large programmes with multiple stakeholders, often with conflicting drivers. She is effective at communicating with and coordinating multiple parties, helping all stakeholders to remain informed
throughout the project lifecycle.

Recent projects have included the identification of important themes for individual stakeholders, and the development of programme reporting and communication measures to suit.

In Previous Lives

Prior to making the transition to Project Management, Amanda's background has been as a mechanical engineer, moving into a combined PM-Engineering role for the latter half of her career. In this time she has gained over 10 years consulting experience.

Her technical experience has been broadly based across a number of sectors, but she has particular familiarity with industrial wastewater and gas, residential upgrades, and from 2010 onwards EQ related building work.

In recent years Amanda has been operating in a purely PM, or combined PM-engineering role, where she would often assist with design or verification in addition to her primary responsibility for project delivery.

Client Projects

CERA - Residential Red Zone Operations Team Secondment

Amanda was seconded into the CERA Residential Red Zone (RRZ) Operations Team, where she applied her skills to increase the rate of clearance works in the Christchurch flatlands area.

When first engaged in Oct 2013, the rate of built structure clearance in the RRZ flatlands was well behind programme. Amanda provided expert programme management advice to the team managers in identifying bottlenecks within the current operational processes, reviewed their resource requirements and team structure, and designed and helped implement additional management tools necessary to deliver works at an
increased rate.  She was also responsible for setting up progress reporting to inform insurers, PMOs and the wider RRZ group within CERA.

At the completion of her secondment, the RRZ built structure clearance programme was fully recovered and delays mitigated, and the future Land Clearance phase of the programme had in place defined processes through which it could be managed.

Housing New Zealand Corporation

Amanda has a long-standing relationship with HNZC, having worked on several large residential upgrade and earthquake related projects for them. Some of her specific activities have included the contract management of
multiple Contractors to deliver upgrades to over 400 properties in the South Island region, and more recently leading a team of 24 engineers and architects to produce damage assessments and costings for 1000+ structurally damaged properties in Christchurch.

NZ Post Properties - Postshop Seismic Strengthening

NZ Post required an "earthquake-prone" Postshop to be seismically strengthened and re-opened prior to the Christmas trading period.  The project was delivered on-time, and within budget, despite numerous challenges including a delayed start from the client's internal approval process, external consenting delays, and significant
additional demolition work.

Amanda oversaw and implemented the procurement, design management and consenting for the project, as well as acting as Engineer's Representative.  Measures she employed to successfully deliver the project included reducing the construction program from 12 weeks to 8 weeks by employing alternative construction techniques, and robust project cost control throughout the project's life cycle.

Why I Love What I Do

Amanda is interested in identifying innovative and effective solutions to technically challenging issues. She also enjoys turning a concept into reality, being part of the team responsible for taking initial expectations and implementing them to become a real physical solution for the Client.

"I particularly enjoy the challenge of setting up a difficult project well in the beginning and pulling together the right team, so that outcomes are more easily achieved in later project stages. "

John Collins

  • B. Planning & Design

  • B. Property & Construction

  • (University of Melbourne)

(03) 365 4328


Live Environment Projects

John has extensive experience completing projects within a live operating environment.  In particular he is experienced in managing the complexities of maintaining "business as usual" activities while developing new environments, satisfying even the most demanding operational stakeholders and clients requirements.

Contract & Contractor Management

John's experience of working for contractors means he is skilled at anticipating issues that may arise in the construction phase of any project.  He is able to work effectively with contractors to achieve the best outcome for the client, mitigating potential budget or timeline issues through proactive management.

Relationships & People Management

John is skilled at facilitating project teams to deliver.  Having worked in a range of situations and projects his unique understanding of the various perspectives means he is adept at handling conflicts and understands the strengths and insights the various team members bring to the project  These skills ensure he is able to get best result for the client from their chosen team.  

In Previous Lives

After University, John worked for a boutique builder in Melbourne, completing large residential new builds, and retail and commercial fitout projects.

From there he moved to Edinburgh and worked for a building company undertaking amongst other projects, the live refurbishment of The St Andrews Hotel on the world famous St Andrews golf course before "graduating" to a role with a client side Project Management consultancy in London.

John and family returned to NZ to be closer to family here in Canterbury.

Client Projects

2010 & 2011 - Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix, Albert park, Melbourne

John worked in the Engineering Project Management Team on the 2010 and 2011 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix's. John was the Formula 1 Paddock Manager with specific responsibility for managing the fit-out requirements of the F1 team garages, pit lane, working facilities and entertainment areas of the Formula 1 teams and Formula One Management.  This technically challenging project required in-depth and precision understanding and interpretation of the unique requirements for this purpose.

Myer Bourke Street Store Redevelopment, Melbourne

John worked as part of the Myer project team helping to implement the Myer Melbourne, Bourke Street Store Redevelopment. The project involved a partial demolition of the heritage listed building, with a total redevelopment of the demolished areas and refurbishment of the existing building with a priority on maintaining "business as usual" trading. The Myer Melbourne store recently won the 2011 Store Design of the Year award at the Oracle World Retail awards in Berlin.

ANdAZ Hotel, Liverpool Street, London UK

During John's time in London he was the Project Manager for ANdAZ Hotel, Liverpool Street, (formerly the Great Eastern Hotel) which included the Health Club and 1901 Restaurant refurbishments. John was involved in all aspects of the project from concept through to completion and successfully delivered the project to the highest standard.

Why I Love What I Do

John has always wanted to work in the construction industry and "feels like a child in a toy store" when on site.

"I enjoy setting in place the necessary structure and procedures at the beginning of a project, and the problem solving that inevitably arises during the construction phase as concept turns into reality."

Rachel Cook

  • Marketing Diploma

(03) 365 4328


Client Relationships

Rachel is experienced in working with a variety of clients. Her ability to work closely to determine needs and manage expectations enables her to achieve the best result for the client.

Problem Solving

Thinking on your feet is an important skill for relocations management.  Rachel is skilled at making quick and accurate decisions whilst under pressure and take responsibility for those to ensure project objectives are met. Rachel enjoys working within a tight timeframe to deliver a plan with a definitive start and finish.

Commercial Relocations

Rachel is dedicated to working closely with clients to plan and manage the implementation their relocations projects.  She focusses on specific client requirements to ensure these are achieved during the project.

In Previous Lives

Rachel is an example of using transferable skills to move into Project Management.  She has an extensive background in office management and after spending 8 years overseas in Australia and the UK she returned to New Zealand in 2006.  Rachel has always worked hard to provide a high level of service to help fulfil her client's requirements. 

Client Projects

University of Canterbury - Earthquake Remediation Works

Rachel is currently co-ordinating and managing the relocations of staff and students and building decant projects within the University.

St Margarets College, Earthquake Remediation Works

Rachel worked with the team from St Margarets to co-ordinate the reinstatement of furniture into Kilburn Boarding House during the Summer of 2011.

Why I Love What I Do

Rachel enjoys providing assistance to remove the stress of the relocation and is not afraid to roll up her sleeves to get the job done!

"I love working with different people and developing relationships, ensuring the client is happy with the end result."

Jonathon Deaker

  • B.Eng. (University of Canterbury)

  • M.E. (Management) (University of Canterbury)

(03) 365 4328


Project Planning & Scheduling

Project planning & scheduling is an area of strength for Jonathon.  Having worked on a number of projects where he has been responsible for the project plan and schedule, he is experienced in both establishing the schedule in the design phase and managing to the schedule through the construction process.

Consent & Contractor Management

Jonathon's background in engineering means he has a practical appreciation of the roles and perspectives of consultants and contractors.  He is experienced in working with multi-disciplinary teams of consultants and contractors and understands the consultant lens.  This insight and experience means Jonathon gets the best out of the project team working across the project life-cycle from preparing and briefing consultants in the design phase through to managing teams through construction.

Construction Management

Jonathon has spent a significant part of the last 6 years working on construction projects. Due to the complex nature of the projects and the requirement for a high degree of site management he has extensive experience in on-site management of the construction process and associated risks including Health & Safety.

In Previous Lives

After completing his studies in Mechanical Engineering & Engineering Management Jonathon worked with Meridian Energy on the management of their Waitaki Hydro assets before heading overseas. After arriving in Europe, Jonathon worked for Voith Hydro, a German company on hydro projects in Germany and Ireland for a number of years. Jonathon returned to NZ to be part of the Christchurch Rebuild and Recovery and to be closer to family here in Canterbury.

Client Projects

Turlough Hill Pump/Storage Station, Dublin

While based in Europe Jonathon spent 3 years working on the extensive upgrade of this hydro-asset owned by Ireland's Electricity Supply Board.  The project's initial establishment approach had resulted in a number of planning and scheduling challenges and Jonathon's initial role was to put together a realistic and considered schedule that met the client's requirements but took into account the complexities of international sourcing and supply lead times.  Working with an international team to deliver this project, Jonathon took the lead in managing team relationship and cross cultural issues.

Benmore Hydro Station Refurbishment, Meridian Energy

The Benmore Hydro Station refurbishment was a comprehensive refurbishment project over a 3 year period. Originally commissioned in 1965, the 'half-life' project was justified by a 5% reduction in water use for the same generation capacity, increasing annual generation by 70GWh. Jonathon's role was as project engineer/supervisor for the project overseeing the site and management of the NEC3 contracting arrangements.  Careful planning and schedule preparation meant this complex project was well executed despite a number of technically challenging aspects. The project was performed at an opportune time coinciding with constraints in the transmission system, therefore having minimal impact on  production levels.

Aviemore Hydro Station Spinning Reserve, Meridian Energy

Jonathon successfully managed this critical project to ensure the South Islands electricity supply was maintained during the dry winter of 2008. Due to part failure of the HVDC link across cook straight, in combination with exceptionally low lake levels, the ability to import power from the North to South Island was limited by the availability of 'spinning reserve'. This complex project equipped Aviemore Hydro Station with this 'spinning reserve' capability at very short notice. Jonathon brought together the key stakeholders and achieved an exception result whilst under significant pressure.

Why I Love What I Do

Jonathon enjoys establishing and working with a good team of dedicated people to deliver a common goal.  He's seen the implications of projects that aren't well considered and where teams don't gel and gets real satisfaction from "getting it right".

"Setting a project up properly at the outset, setting expectations, roles and the culture are really important.  It makes it so much easier working through all the inevitable challenges that arise in the life of a project".

Steve Harvey

  • NZCAA Licensed Aircraft Maintenance Engineer

  • NZIM Diploma in executive management

(03) 365 4328


Design and Stakeholder Management

As a natural problem solver with practical skills and a wealth of experience in both design and stakeholder management, Steve has the proven ability to provide innovative practical solutions to stakeholder needs.  His creative flair and technical expertise is supported by a broad knowledge of systems, processes and materials, allowing him to challenge designers and stakeholders to achieve a better result.

Construction, Programme, Cost and Value Management

Having managed every aspect of complex commercial and residential construction projects, Steve understands the challenges of managing projects within time, cost and quality constraints. From feasibility to practical completion, his drive, determination and solutions focus is geared to add value and achieve the best possible result.

In Previous Lives

Steve transitioned into construction project management in 2006; having retired from Air New Zealand after 25 years in various engineering, technical, planning, project and management roles.

Following a two-year sojourn in manufacturing as GM of Operations, he recently set up a production line to manufacture prefabricated bathroom pods for the local aged care, hotel and residential markets and has patents pending on his innovative design solutions.

His determination to always challenge perceived limits and confidence in managing risk allowed him achieve a personal ambition of summiting Mt Everest in 2006.

Client Projects

Christchurch Engine Centre

Steve was responsible for the full project management of CEC's $20M site consolidation project including a new 8,000m² aero engine overhaul workshop and offices at the Christchurch facility. The facility was designed and built to achieve a LEED Silver energy and environmental rating and including several highly specialised chemical and mechanical processing areas. Health & Safety controls were paramount in maintaining operations in the adjoining building on site.

Gough Group, Christchurch

Steve undertook the full project management and feasibility assessment role for Gough's new Component Rebuild Centre at the groups Christchurch facility. This state of the art facility includes a 3,000 HP diesel engine dynamometer test cell and multiple gantry, jib and monorail cranes and required trade waste and air discharge resource consents.

MFL House, Christchurch CBD

Steve was the Project Manager for the demolition of the earthquake damaged 8 story commercial offices and retail building in the Christchurch CBD. This building was severely damaged and could not be stripped out prior to demolition and included managing the removal of an existing underground diesel storage tank identified on the ECAN Listed Land Use Register (LLUR).

Poplar Grove Winery, British Columbia, Canada

Steve was the site based project manager responsible for structural steel Kingspan roof cladding and co-ordination of consultants and contractors during construction of the $10M showcase facility. This iconic winery facility overlooking Lake Okanagan included a restaurant, tasting and wine making operations.

Why I Love What I Do

Steve believes client satisfaction is paramount.

"This job primarily involves creating tangible assets, but it is much more than that.  It is about helping our clients realise their goals and aspirations and with my high level of personal commitment comes the satisfaction of not only achieving superior results, but building long term relationships."



Project Director

Chris is a highly skilled Project Director with over 30 years' experience in leading project teams and budgets. He demonstrates exceptional strategic thinking and planning skills, enhanced by a broad vision and the capacity to manage complex problems and projects. Chris brings a wealth of major building project experience. He is highly skilled and conversant at leading both design and construction of large and complex building projects.


Chris is a natural leader, with the proven ability to empower, develop and motivate staff. He is experienced in building autonomous and highly effective teams. A multi-skilled high achiever, with the capacity and determination to exceed objectives and really make a difference.

Relationship Management

Chris brings outstanding all-round communication, listening and interpersonal skills which allow him to relate to people on all levels from the shop floor to the boardroom, across professional, social and cultural boundaries.

With highly effective organisational, planning and time management skills, Chris has a proven record of meeting deadlines and targets.

Chris' Core Strengths Are:

Design management and coordination
Procurement and tendering
Construction management
Engineer to Contract (e.g. NZS 3910)
Risk management       
Cross functional leadership
Restructures and change management
Cost control
Contract preparation and administration
Bid Preparation
Public consultation
Business Development
Managing large budgets

Client Projects

University of Canterbury - Canterbury Engineering the Future (CETF)

Chris is currently Project Director for The University of Canterbury's CETF Project. This project consists of the redevelopment of existing buildings EN01 Engineering Core, EN02 Mechanical Engineering, EN03 Civil and Natural Resources and EN04 Electrical Engineering. This includes replacing the façade, structural upgrades, new upper floor space and refit-out, new building services installation plus new roof area to be added to EN01 Engineering Core and EN02 Mechanical Engineering. In addition to this, EN06 Chemical and Process Engineering is to be demolished and reconstructed. The project has been split into three stages with each building making up a separable portion.

Rotorua Hospital Redevelopment and Extension, Lakes District Health Board

Chris was the Project Director on an extensive redevelopment of the existing facilities at Rotorua and Taupo hospitals, including the implementation of new facilities designed to meet the needs of the community for the next 20 years. This included handling the fallout from a contractor receivership.

Westin Lighter Quay Hotel, Viaduct Harbour, Auckland, Melview Developments

As Project Director, Chris led three project managers to deliver a five star, 180 room hotel with marina and navigation lock.  Facilities included restaurants, health spa, swimming pool, gym, lounges and a business centre.  This was achieved within a tight timescale.

Aotea Square Redevelopment, Auckland Council Property Group

This redevelopment included Civic Car Park repairs, Aotea Square upgrade and Aotea Centre interface improvements. The redevelopment won the Project Management Institute of New Zealand (PMINZ) Public Sector Project of the Year, 2011.

National Mutual Centre, Auckland (now Axa Centre), National Mutual Funds Management

Project Manager on the redevelopment and refurbishment of the office tower including replacement of the façade.

A Sample of Other Projects Undertaken Include:

Trafalgar Square Shopping Centre, Girvan Corporation
Various high-rise office blocks, Baker Developments
Hyatt Kingsgate Hotel, Rotorua, Kingsgate International

Donna Howell

  • B. Arch (Hons), University of Auckland

  • Level 1 & 2 Greenstar training (New Zealand Green Building Council)

  • Registered Gateway Reviewer

  • Better Business Case Practitioner

(03) 365 4328


Project Director

Donna is an acomplished Project Director with over 20 years' experience in managing all phases of complex and challenging projects to successful completion.  

Stakeholder Management

A trained and experienced facilitator, Donna is able to establish a team environment that encourages positive collaboration and constructive, effective dialogue at all levels, from front line to senior management. She has proven strength in pulling together the disparate interests of multiple and diverse stakeholders, and facilitating their translation into optimal project solutions.

Design Development

Donna is a Registered Architect and her extensive and varied experience, along with her background in architecture means she understands how to effectively lead design development on complex projects.

In Previous Lives

After graduating with a Bachelor of Architecture (Hons), Donna worked in architectural practice until 2001 when she made the shift into Project Management. Donna has worked on a number of projects to date whilst retaining her status as a Registered Architect. Prior to joining the team at The Project Office, Donna delivered projects under her own independent consultancy and also provided advice and support to public sector organisations seeking to establish robust project management and governance frameworks.

Client Projects

Department of Corrections Regional Prisons Development Programme

Donna worked with the Department of Corrections Regional Prisons Development Programme from 2001 until 2008.  The RPDP comprised the ground-breaking and time-critical construction and commissioning of four major new corrections facilities via collaborative working arrangement methodologies. Initially as Project Manager for the Otago Region Corrections Facility and then as Design Manager / Client Representative for the wider Regional Prisons Development Programme Donna was a key and influential member of the programme delivery team.

From 2008 to date Donna was Project Manager on a number of significant projects:
Lincoln Hub Master Planning
Design Manager / Client Rep - Regional Prison Development Programme
Project Manager - National Library Redevelopment
Project Manager - Massey University College of Creative Arts
Project Manager - NZ Police National Headquarters fitout
Project Director - Kimi Ora Special Needs School
Project Director - Kapi Mana Special Needs School
NZ Police National Headquarters fitout (14 stories, occupied throughout)

Why I Love What I Do

"The nature and quality of the spaces and places we create determines so much about who we are and what we believe we can achieve as individuals and communities - to be in a position to lead positive and lasting change in that context is hugely rewarding."

Guy Lascelles

  • B.Eng (University of Auckland)

(03) 365 4328


Construction Management

Guy has worked extensively in delivering complex & long-term capital projects.  Experience in working in transport infrastructure means Guy understands the importance of tight programme management & stakeholder management.  He is experienced in working with multi-disciplinary contractor teams and providing effective co-ordination to ensure business continuity is achieved for the client and significant stakeholders.

Value Management

Guy is experienced in value management working with clients to realise cost and time effective solutions to assist with meeting tight project deadlines.

He has successfully applied value management both at the start and during capital projects to achieve the client's outcomes.

Contract Administration

Guy is experienced in the management of contract tender processes from the development of documentation through to management of the contract.

Guy has worked extensively in the Transport & Infrastructure sectors, with particular experience in roading and is experienced in working with the NEC suite of contracts.

In Previous Lives

Guy qualified as a Civil Engineer in New Zealand practicing in Wellington for a large consultancy before heading to the UK. Once in London he made the switch to Project Management and spent 7 years working predominantly in Transport Infrastructure and Urban Revitalisation for Transport for London, a subsidiary of the Greater London Council responsible for the transport network in the region.  As all good Kiwi's do, he married a Canterbury girl and returned back home in 2012.

Client Projects

London Inner Orbital - Bounds Green

The Bounds Green carriage way project was an initiative to support improved access into London from the North East.  The 5km dual carriageway through urban areas got off to a troubled start and when the project management team was replaced Guy was one of four who took over the project.  At that stage the project was 12 months behind schedule. Extensive value management and work with contractors and stakeholders resulted in the carriageway being delivered on time as part of the improved network of transport to facilitate Olympic transportation with minimal disruption to traffic flows during the construction.

Gants Hill Town Centre

The Gants Hill Town Centre project was an urban revitalisation and transport project.  Intended to create a more attractive hub to this area of London and upgrade access to the local tube station, the project was a Mayoral Fund initiative.

Deliverables achieved included increased green space, a "European-style" café environment combined with improved traffic flows and greater safety and ease of access for users of the underground station.  The enhanced amenity value has resulted in increased patronage by the local community and increased economic activity from local retail and entertainment enterprise.

Why I Love What I Do

Guy enjoys maximising the value from a project whether that is through cost management, stakeholder management or delivering increased amenity.  He's interested in the unique aspects of projects and seeing the change it can deliver.

"Taking a difficult situation, assessing all the information and making the right decision to keep the project moving, on track and delivering against the clients expectations is especially satisfying."

Craig Monkman

  • BEng (hons) Civil Engineering (University of Hertfordshire)

  • MSc Management (Loughborough University)

(03) 365 4328


Construction Management

Craig's experience of working on large and complex construction projects enables him to understand and anticipate potential issues before they arise. He is able to work closely with contractors to ensure that critical path items are identified and mitigated prior to impacting programme.

Live Environment Projects

Craig has managed several projects in a live environment and understands first-hand the challenges and flexibility required to ensure that "business as usual" continues uninterrupted.

Relationships and People Management

Craig is well versed in managing teams in highly stressed and pressured situations. His calm and logical approach allows him to guide the team towards its goal, without losing focus. This allows individuals to perform within the team and ensures that the client receives the desired outcome.  

In Previous Lives

Craig qualified as a Civil Engineer in the UK and worked as a technical specialist in the procurement and business development department of a large construction company before heading back out to site with the same company. He progressed to a senior site level in the company during his twelve years there, working on major projects and being invited to be part of the company's 'Young Guns' programme for leaders of the future. All this changed when Craig and his wife visited New Zealand on holiday and after coming back again two years later, they moved to Christchurch in 2011.

Client Projects

Lyttelton Port of Christchurch

Craig is currently working with the Lyttelton Port of Christchurch as a Project Manager on a range of Port infrastructure rebuild and development projects. These projects are based in a number of locations, both at the main port and at the inland container terminals. Craig works collaboratively with LPC stakeholders to ensure both project and business objectives are met.

Midland Port, Rolleston, Lyttelton Port Company

The Midland Port project was fast tracked from concept design through to completion and hand over in less than 12 months. Craig began work on the project at the initial stages, working with the consultant team to produce the resource consent documents. Concept plans were developed in conjunction with the project team and LPC's Inland Port Development Manager. Craig managed this tight-knit team to commence construction whilst detailed design was still being developed. Due to the necessity to deliver the project as quickly as possible, Craig chaired weekly design team meetings that resolved any immediate issues to allow the next week's construction to progress. The project was handed over on time, under budget and with substantial increased Client scope.

MWH Recovery, Earthquake Recovery Programme

Craig began his career in New Zealand working as a project manager on the domestic MWH Recovery programme. This was an intentional move for Craig away from his normal commerical project management, as he wanted to help individuals in the earthquake recovery as much as he could. He was promoted from Project Manager to Senior Project Manager to Lead Project Manager in a period of 8 months. Craig then led a team of around 24 people, consisting of project managers, senior project managers, quantity surveyors and administrators to manage and deliver the domestic reinstatement programme for AAI and Vero. AAI's programme was the first to be substantially completed in Christchurch.

Residential Development and Dance House, Ipswich

This large development was split in two amongst the team to allow it to be coordinated and delivered as required. Craig was Construction Manager in charge of the construction and fit out of four residential towers of 21, 17, 13 and 8 storeys in height and the dance studios and main electrical substations below. The building is the tallest in the East of England outside of London. The exposed site and height meant that material distribution, logistics and safety were the main challenges facing the team.

Why I Love What I Do

Craig enjoys problem solving and looking at alternatives strategies to ensure that complications don't get in the way of project delivery.   

 "I love being able to think on my feet and analyse a situation to suggest alternative options that haven't been considered."



Albert Smit

  • B.Sc Construction Management

(03) 365 4328


Stakeholder Relationship Management

Having worked on some of Africa's and Asia's largest projects, Albert has experience of working with multiple stakeholders from different countries and multiple cultures. He has a clear understanding of international communication management to streamline project delivery from concept to closeout.

Project Planning & Scheduling

The majority of the projects delivered by Albert during his career have been of a fast track nature. The margin for error is low when time is of the essence and this has skilled Albert in strategic and detailed forward planning to pre-empt and address risk and formalise the delivery of projects through their project lifecycles.

Contract Administration

Albert's experience of working on a number of international projects means he has gained experience on several contractual agreements. He is skilled in reviewing and tailoring contracts to suit unique project and demographic requirements. This includes negotiations with stakeholders across country borders to adapt contracts to cater for multiple legislative regimes.

In Previous Lives

After graduating in 2000, Albert spent a short time working for construction companies. He then joined one of the leading project management consultancies in Africa where he later served on the board. He was instrumental in the delivery of projects throughout South Africa, Africa, Mauritius and Asia, ranging from several hotels and leisure developments, retail and commercial projects.

Following a holiday to New Zealand, Albert relocated to Christchurch in 2013 where he has settled with his wife and son.

Client Projects

MGM Ho Tram - Vietnam

Albert was a project director for the delivery of the first full casino and hotel development in Vietnam. The project included a 500 bed 5-star hotel, slots and 100 table casino facilities, conference facilities and 7 restaurants. Due to the remoteness of the project location, the project included potable and waste water treatment works, industrial laundry and uniform handlers, banking and financial facilities. Total building area was some 160 000 m².

The project was delivered with design input from consultants based in 4 different continents and construction peaked with some 5000 staff on site.

Liberty Promenade Shopping Centre - South Africa

Albert worked as the project director on the refurbishment and extension of one of South Africa's busiest shopping centres.

The project entailed the upgrade of an existing shopping centre (53,581m² GLA) and an addition of 24,000m². The works included the construction of a new food court and subsequent relocation of existing food court, a new cinema (8 theatres), additional shopping area, replacement and re-alignment of all existing shop fronts, strengthening of the existing structure and replacement of all finishes (including ceilings and floor tiles) to all public areas. This was achieved whilst keeping the shopping centre open to the public and minimising the impact on trading.

Le Telfair and Long Beach Hotels - Mauritius

During his time in Mauritius, Albert was involved as a project manager on the delivery of 2 hotels. Le Telfair hotel is situated in the south of the island and is a 5 star 158-bedroom hotel. Long Beach Hotel is situated on the east coast and is based on the old site for Le Coco Beach hotel that was demolished as part of the project. Long Beach Hotel is a 255-bedroom 4-star hotel.

Why I Love What I Do

Albert loves the out of ordinary challenges associated with project management that requires lateral thinking and out of the box solutions. His passion lies in dealing with stakeholders to resolve challenges and implementing subsequent systems or resolutions to streamline the delivery of projects through their lifecycles.

"There are no problems in life, there are challenges. Each challenge is a solution in the making."


Sonia Sparks

  • B.Arch (Hons) University of Victoria, Wellington

(03) 365 4328


Design Management

Sonia  has a varied range of experience from her Architectural and project management roles in Christchurch and Melbourne on residential, education, retail, performing arts and aviation projects at Christchurch and Melbourne International Airports.

Relationship & People Management

When representing a client, Sonia recognises that each client has a set of unique project objectives and she enjoys working with the client to achieve these.

Sonia naturally builds rapport and gains respect through her commitment, loyalty and enthusium for each project she undertakes. This enthusium and interest in achieving the best project outcomes are evident from the early stages of project brief development to project completion.

Project Management

Her experience in the design development phases, creating successful consultant and contractor teams and building strong partnerships between parties, has grown with Sonia's career progression. Her warm, genuine approach inspires others to work together, while she guides the project through each stage of development.

In Previous Lives

Prior to joining The Project Office, Sonia spent five years as a specialist Project Management consultant, spending three years before this in Architecture. Preceeding this, Sonia gained 10 years experience in Retail Operations and Store management.

Client Projects

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA), Christchurch Central Development Unit (CCDU) Retail Precinct

Sonia has recently completed her Project Manager role at the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) where she project managed the Christchurch City Retail Precinct.

During her time at CERA, Sonia worked with the ReStart the Heart Trust to relocate the ReStart Mall to make way for permanent development. She also managed the project team to deliver The Christchurch Retail Precinct Plan - a visionary plan of how the Retail  Precinct could potentially develop.  As a predominately privately owned precinct, she represented CERA as a facilitator between landowners, key stakeholders and other central city precincts to coordinate and develop strategies to assist with recovery of this  precinct.

Presbyterian Ladies College, Melbourne, Performing Arts, Music and Drama School

Sonia worked with Presbyterian Ladies College as Project Manager, managing a specialist consultant team to develop a concept design brief for a new 500 seat Performing Arts Auditorium, Music and Drama School. Following brief development, a selection of Architects were invited to present concept designs for consideration, with appointment of the successful Architect. Sonia returned to Christchurch at completion of this project phase.

Melbourne International Airport

Sonia has worked with Melbourne International Airport as a Project Manager since 2011 to deliver upgrades to Melbourne Airports International terminal.

Sonia assisted with appointment and management of a project team consisting of consultants, client and key stakeholders to develop masterplanning options for the future upgrade and expansion  of the International Terminal to cater for increasing passenger and airline demands.

During her time in this role, Sonia also project managed an upgrade to the International Arrivals Customs area, and assisted with office relocations and upgrades to check-in facilities.

Why I Love What I Do

"I love contributing to the built environment and have always had a keen interest in Architecture. I enjoy working with clients and consultant teams to develop projects that are unique, cost effective and sustainable. Buildings should enhance peoples lives and be enjoyable to visit, live or work in on an everyday basis. A good building will contribute to the fabric of it's city in a positive way."

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