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We provide strategy, executive support, insight, and stakeholder relations and communications support to organizations wanting to connect with their communities and key audiences across New Zealand.  

We maintain a network of expert associates and specialist delivery partners to be able to scale and deliver work efficiently and effectively. 

We have strong connections and expertise working across New Zealand, working within both the central and local government sectors, experience working in the environment and water space, the rural sector, iwi, and supporting major projects. 

We specialize in helping governance, leaders, and their organizations to effectively translate their strategy into simple and clear actions for their key audiences through an end to the program management approach. 

We help others to influence, connect and provide insight for leaders. We help turn strategy into action

Mike Shatford
Director and Principal Consultant

Mike is the principal and delivery lead for SBA Consulting, leading our strategy, talent, and communications functions. He is an experienced executive leader and executive coach (and accredited ICF coach) with specialist strategic planning, communication, and stakeholder leadership experience – focused on turning strategy into action and delivering clear, simple, and effective solutions that connect people and organizations with their key customers.

In over 30 years as a leader, Mike has learned from the very best on how to lead complex teams and to deliver effective results, leading teams – large and small – in complex and challenging environments. He has worked at the political interface, and within organizations at all levels, so has a clear understanding of what good decision-making is.

Mike has built extensive networks and strong relationships and has access to a comprehensive network of skilled associates and delivery partners to support the delivery of robust and scalable programmes of work.

Nigel Shatford
Director and Senior Consultant

Nigel is an experienced manager and senior advisor with over 16 years of experience across various roles in the public sector.  He has an effective and pragmatic style that is heavily outcome-focused. He has extensive experience in strategic design and planning, designing frameworks, developing and implementing work programmes, preparing business cases, developing networks across organizations, and supporting governance frameworks.

Nigel has strong problem-solving skills and is often asked to undertake troubleshooting roles, lead or support formal reviews and assessments, set up programmes of work, and produce urgent business cases.
Nigel is an outcome-focused generalist and can support organizations across a range of functions to deliver to business priorities and strategic outcomes.

Kate Lee
Principal Consultant

Kate is an accomplished leader with decades of service in the New Zealand Army. Having led successfully at the strategic and operational levels, she understands the demands on public sector leaders and, having experienced the highs and the lows, she gets the very real struggle to balance all elements of life.

Kate helps bring out the best in people.  She knows sometimes you just don’t need another leadership course.  Sometimes it’s about connection, understanding and a gentle nudge.  Kate listens, coaches and supports in a way that demonstrates a true partnership.

In her recent roles in senior management positions, Kate has led large teams and developed and delivered change programs.  Kate is also experienced in strategic decision making and governance through her role as chair and member of several senior leadership boards. Kate has been fortunate enough to work with some of New Zealand’s very best people and her favourite part of leading was working with staff and enabling them to be their best through a shared vision, a wee bit of guidance, loads of encouragement and a whole lot of trust.

Belinda Milnes
Principal Consultant 

Belinda Milnes began as a muti-award-winning business journalist with the National Business Review before moving to the Press Gallery and the Beehive. She has spent nearly 20 years at the highest levels of government, working as senior advisor to the Deputy Prime Minister and Deputy Chief of Staff to the Leader of the Opposition.

Those roles have given her an intuitive understanding of how both the executive and operational arms of government work, and a wide network of contacts to help clients resolve problems.


Belinda specialises in developing strategies which solve problems and clearing roadblocks for SBA clients, and she is also our communications expert making sure we are getting compelling messaging or clients in all their dealings with Ministers, MP’s, and officials.

Felicity Cuzens
Senior Consultant

Felicity Cuzens is a high-level relationship manager and leader with many years working with senior politicians and public service leads.  She is a Justice of the Peace and has held various roles showcasing adaptability and leadership during her tenure with the Department of Internal Affairs which included roles such as Senior Advisor and Senior Private Secretary to several high-level Ministers.

Felicity has played a pivotal role in managing and setting up ministerial offices and training staff, as well as providing strategic advice, creating wellness teams and implementing disaster management frameworks post-Canterbury earthquakes. Felicity’s ability to drive any project/ event is well known amongst several circles and industries. Additionally, she has been successful in project management of the rebuild and property management of several properties for Stirling Trust since 2015.

Felicity’s educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) and complemented by professional certifications such as Counselling, Early Childhood Teacher and NZ Real Estate Sales.

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