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Murray Petrie

Murray has had extensive experience in public management and public policy in New Zealand and internationally since 1980. He has worked for the New Zealand Government and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and has been a consultant to public sector organizations in New Zealand and internationally since 1997.

Murray's particular strengths are the ability to apply a variety of analytical frameworks to real world policy problems, and to devise and implement innovative and effective solutions. For instance, he helped the IMF develop and implement a new approach to defining and promoting fiscal transparency; for the World Bank he has developed new public financial management assessment frameworks; he developed a conceptual framework for public sector performance contracting for the OECD; and he helped draft the IMF's Guidelines on Fiscal Risk Management and has applied them in country assessments.

Murray has in-depth expertise and experience in the fields of:

  1. Public financial management and budgeting.
  2. Governance, accountability, and transparency
  3. The management of fiscal risks.
  4. Public sector reform and performance management.
  5. Public policy analysis (including social policy analysis)
  6. International policy cooperation.

Murray has been an active member of the IMF Panel of Fiscal Experts since 1998, participating in over 30 IMF missions to member countries and assignments at Fund Headquarters. His work for the IMF extends across fiscal transparency, fiscal risk management, budget preparation, public expenditure management, and strengthening of ministries of finance. He has lectured at the Fund's Training Institute in Singapore, delivered seminars at Fund headquarters and in member countries, evaluated the implementation of fiscal transparency initiatives, and advised the Fund on technical assistance policy.

Murray has excellent interpersonal and communications skills, and has extensive experience presenting complex material to Ministers and senior executives. He has lived in five countries and worked abroad in a wide range of capacities (volunteer, diplomat, student, international civil servant, short term expert, civil society representative). He has a demonstrated capacity to work well with people from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and levels of seniority.

Murray is also a founding member and Director of Transparency International New Zealand (TINZ), the New Zealand chapter of the Berlin-based international anti-corruption NGO. TINZ acts as a force for good governance in New Zealand and the South Pacific, and contributes to the international anti-corruption effort. In his civil society capacity Murray has assessed New Zealand's performance against international standards and conventions, and is an active contributor to international civil society budget transparency initiatives.

Murray holds an MA (Hons) degree in economics from Canterbury University, a Master of Public Administration from Harvard University, and he completed a PhD in public policy at Victoria University of Wellington in 2009. His thesis was on international policy cooperation, and investigated the impacts of economic globalisation on state sovereignty. He has published widely on aspects of public financial management, public sector performance, and good governance.

Outside work, Murray's interests include sports, travel, theatre, and going on adventures with his wife and two daughters.

David Webber

David has worked at the forefront of international developments in economic policy, public finance and strategic management for more than 30 years. He has an outstanding international reputation in international economics from a career that has included well over 200 missions in more than 50 countries. He is widely sought by many governments and international agencies for his detailed knowledge and broad leadership experience in the design and implementation of public sector reforms, especially in relation to fiscal policies, public expenditure management and organisational development.

Through his career, David has built a comprehensive understanding of how good economic policies and public financial management must align with well-defined institutional roles and capabilities. His leadership strengths lie in his detailed understanding of what is required - technically and managerially - across nearly all aspects of good economic management. Amongst international advisers, he has the comparatively rare skills needed for mobilizing, managing, and maximizing the contributions of individuals and organisations to soundly based reforms.

As a result, David is frequently requested to take a leading role in establishing recovery programmes in the economies, public administrations and justice systems of many crisis-hit and post-conflict countries. His ability to work professionally and co-operatively with diverse groups and competing interests - including politicians, officials, community leaders and civil society organisations - has been a major factor in his acceptance and effectiveness within these fraught political and economic environments.

This work includes developing fiscal stabilization and poverty alleviation policies, establishing the legal framework and institutions for effective governance, good judicial processes and sound public financial management systems. It has also involved negotiating the design and multi-party acceptance of special funds for managing incomes from oil and other valuable nationally-owned resources. David has been retained by several governments - including some high income oil producing states - as lead adviser in managing their on-going fiscal and policy reform programmes.

David's international work has focused during the last three decades mainly on assisting countries in Asia, Central & Eastern Europe, and most recently the Middle East. He has been a member of the IMF Panel of Fiscal Experts since 1991 and a leading international adviser on fiscal management issues over the last 15 years in particular. International assignments have also been undertaken regularly for the World Bank, multiple UN agencies, as well as many individual governments and non-government organisations.

As Managing Director of the Economics & Strategy Group Ltd, David also contributes independent advice within New Zealand on economic and fiscal policies and public sector management strategies. This includes advice to the central agencies (NZ Treasury and State Services Commission) on improving public policies and public sector performance generally, as well as specific sector policy expertise in education, social welfare, justice and research & innovation. This support for policy analysis and development, which includes some major private sector companies, often includes guidance on the strategies and processes that are needed to ensure these new policies are implemented effectively within the client organisation and across the sector.

David holds a Masters' Degree (in economics) from Victoria University of Wellington, a Certificate in Corporate Governance from the New Zealand Institute of Directors and a certificate in personnel management. He is a member of several NZ and international economic and public policy organisations and served from 2006-2010 on a NZ Government advisory panel for strategic planning of national research infrastructure. He writes regularly for national and international publications on economic and strategic management issues and provides presentations and training workshops world-wide on these topics.

Outside work, David's time is mostly spent on a rural property near Wellington where he combines the trials of sheep farming with a strong interest in classical architecture and landscape design. His other interests include sport, music, cinema and essays. He is founding sponsor of the Bertrand-Webber Scholarship Trust which promotes excellence in economic studies and leadership development amongst young people.

Alex Matheson

Alex has 34 years experience in public administration. This has included 25 years as a public servant in New Zealand across four ministries. In three of these he held Senior Executive Service level positions. In the last ten years Alex has been the senior public governance and management adviser for two international organisations, the OECD in Paris and the Commonwealth Secretariat in London. These positions involved comparative research across the 85 member states, as well as working directly with the governments of 35 countries, both developed and developing. Since the beginning of 2005 he has been a consultant to government in New Zealand and internationally .

His main asset is his capacity for a whole of government or whole of agency management perspective, (including strategy, budget, financial management, human resource management and organisation), and devising improvements which take account of the relevant institutional setting and culture. Areas of particular strength include:

  • policy and management review and advice - at whole of government and agency levels (e.g. he has been involved in national public administration reviews in New Zealand, Ireland, and South Africa)
  • public sector modernisation - of budgeting, performance, control, civil service development and organisational structure - tailored for different environments. (He has recently undertaken consultancy work in these areas for DFID and the IMF)
  • collective decision-making - especially the role of central agencies. (He has worked on strengthening Cabinet decision-making with the Prime Minister and Ministers in five developing Commonwealth countries)
  • diverse sectoral experience - has worked as a senior manager in departments of foreign affairs, justice, tourism, international development and in the central civil service management agency.

Alex's experience as a senior public servant, as a manager of governance and public management specialists in international organisations, and as a policy adviser and practitioner in a range of sectors and countries, enables him to bring understanding and insight to the problems faced by ministers and public service managers. Having worked for periods of 3 to 5 years in five different countries, he relates well to people across cultures. He communicates clearly and has a practical and collaborative approach to problem solving.

Alex has published papers in national and international journals on a wide range of public management topics - including a review of two decades of public sector modernisation in OECD countries. In 1995 he was awarded the John B Thurston Award for outstanding article of the year by the International Institute of Internal Auditors.

Outside of work Alex enjoys time with his large family, plus cycling, swimming, gardening, reading and movies.

Our Services

Policy Analysis, Design and Evaluation – with specific expertise in the responsibilities of central agencies, social policy, science and innovation, justice, labour markets and regulatory interventions.

Public Sector Management and Governance – with specific expertise in structure of government issues, performance management, government budgeting, and public sector transparency issues.

Economic and Financial Management – with specific expertise in macroeconomic policies, short and medium term fiscal strategies, results-based budgeting, cost-benefit appraisal and evaluation, and assessing fiscal risks.

Organisational Strategy and Development – with specific expertise in strategic planning, policy alignment, risk management and capacity building.

Training and Presentations – staff training and development in all the above areas.

Quick and Effective Responses to Analytical or Quality Assurance Needs – providing high quality inputs to the strategy and policy activities of public and private sector clients.

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