About Us

Established in 1997 by Shareholder Director Russell Ness, Ness Consulting has provided management consulting services for a wide range of Central and Local Government agencies, Corporates, not for profits and other entities. While most engagements are led by Russell, Ness Consulting has access to a wide range of specialist partners.

Russell works with people to develop highly effective individuals, teams and environments. While running his management consulting business, he has also taken on a number of leadership roles over extended periods. This means he has first-hand experience of leadership in a range of commercial, NGO and not for profit environments.

Russell has an open, facilitative style and an ability to work quickly to identify key issues and work towards resolution. Specifically, he will diagnose, and advise on, people and organisational performance issues. He will isolate priority actions and work alongside leaders to make improvements.

Earlier in his career, after senior roles in a number of organisations, a highlight was heading up the Telecom NZ national training function. During his time in Telecom he managed several strategic national projects then formed the Individual and Group Performance arm within the company – essentially an internal consulting group.

He initiated his own management consulting business early in 1997, concentrating on performance improvement initiatives and organisational effectiveness.

In early 1999, Russell initiated and took up the leadership of Human Capital Services for Arthur Andersen New Zealand. One of his primary roles was to business manage the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenge Association during the America’s Cup Challenge over 1999/2000. He also led the Arthur Andersen project team for Housing New Zealand’s “Housing Innovation Fund”.

While continuing to consult in a number of areas, in 2003 Russell formed Correda Limited which developed and launched Kit, an extranet and management toolkit product. He ran the company successfully and then sold it as a highly profitable going concern in 2014.

Over a number of years Russell has lectured in Quality Management for the Auckland University of Technology MBA programme and Project Management for the Auckland Institute of Studies MBA programme. In late 2008, he was invited to take up a position as Executive in Residence with AUT University with responsibility for developing and leading the MBA Entrepreneurship programme. In 2012 he became an international judge of the 2012 MBA Roundtable Innovator Award competition.

Inherently innovative and originally trained in graphic design, Russell has illustrated a number of technical and children’s books. One, “The Guardian of the Bridge”, written by Diana Harris, was re published by Random House in 2009 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Auckland Harbour Bridge.

He is also heavily involved with community initiatives and voluntary action. He coached and managed sports teams for a number of years, was a founding board member on the Awataha Marae Management and Education Committees, a Board member of Volunteering NZ and Volunteering Auckland, is currently a Business Mentor for Business Mentors New Zealand and was Acting General Manager then Director of The Wilson Home Trust over 7 ½ years.

Images courtesy of Radax photos.

Recent Career

Learning Design and Delivery Manager and Project Manager
October 2016 - February 2019
Learning Design and Delivery and Project Management
31 October 2016
Ness 1997 – present
Director, Russell Ness Associates Limited T/A Ness Consulting

(Est. April 1997 and current role)

Management and business performance improvement consultants

1997 - present
Business Mentors New Zealand - Business Mentor

Management and business performance mentoring

2004 - present
Executive in Residence, Entrepreneurship – Auckland University of Technology

To lead development and delivery of the MBA Entrepreneurship Programme (Led and lectured on the programme until 2013)

2008 to present
Director – The Wilson Home Trust

To lead a multi-million dollar enterprise dedicated to children with disabilities

2008 - 2015
Guest Lecturer – Auckland Institute of Studies

MBA Programme

To lead delivery of the MBA Project Management paper

2006 - 2008
Guest Lecturer – Auckland University of Technology

MBA Programme

To lead delivery of the MBA Quality Management paper

Director, Correda Ltd

To provide an online management toolkit, communication system and intranet/extranet product “KIT”

2003 - 2011
Director, Arthur Andersen Human Capital Services

Leader of new service line initiative in an alliance between Arthur Andersen and Russell Ness Associates Limited

To create and lead a service line devoted to advising on and implementing strategies that maximise the value of people and their contribution

1999 - 2000
Telecom 1996-1997
National Manager Telecom Individual & Group Performance

Reports to: General Manager Human Resources Telecom
Budget: $1.8m
Staff: Maximum 27

Key Achievements

  • Restructure and Refocus of Individual and Group Performance Improvement strategies in Telecom NZ 1996
  • Development of Telecom NZ Performance Improvement approach including policy and support tools


1997 - 1996
Telecom 1994-1996
National Manager Telecom Individual & Group Performance

Reports to: Manager Human Resources Development
Budget: $3.5m
Staff: Maximum 75

Key Achievments

Restructure of Telecom NZ training function to support governance principles and management accountability

  • Development and implementation of Telecom NZ Training and Performance Improvement Policy Framework
  • Promotion of cost effective performance improvement and performance support tools and techniques. SAP implementation saving ($15,000 vs. $1.5m)
  • Design and development of Telecom NZ new product / service / IT / network support process
  • Development of Telecom Cook Islands Customer Service Framework and Performance Standards 1996
  • Development of Fiji Post and Telecom (FPTL) Customer Service and Sales Framework and restructure of Training Division 1996


1994 - 1996
National Manager Customer Service Training Telecom

Reports to: Manager Human Resources Development
Budget: $3.0m
Staff: Maximum 35

Key Achievements:
Leadership of the design, development and delivery of consistent training and development for 1,200 customer service representatives to support Telecom’s Customer Service Strategy within the project timeframe, within budget and to the required specification.

1993 - 1994
Manager Performance Development Unit Telecom

Reports to: Manager Human Resources Development
Budget: $ 750,000
Staff: Maximum 7

Key Achievements:
Targeted performance improvement initiatives for Telecom NZ and its subsidiaries. For example:

  • Highly cost effective on job training approach for Telecom Rigging
  • Increased Telecom Payphone sales results achieved through improved contact centre performance
  • Design of data training programmes to support key strategy
  • Design of cost effective job aids/guides to lessen off job training
  • Design and delivery of revolutionary sales training approach
1991 - 1993
Artistic Director, Michael Hill Jeweller International

To design and manage the consistently high visual image, brand strength and retail concept of the stores through visual displays, store promotions, advertising and brand enhancement.