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Alicia McKay is passionate about unleashing the potential of public sector leaders to have more impact in their communities.

When we do great work in the public service, we touch the lives of people who really need it. Then we can put our hands on our heart and say we are serving the people that pay our wages. That matters.”
— Alicia McKay

Are you frustrated by the constraints of a public sector work environment?

Are you struggling to cut through the overwhelm?

Do you need help balancing internal and external pressures?

Is it time to align your team’s focus to where it will have the most impact?

Alicia walks alongside public sector teams and leaders to help them be more strategic, more effective and make smarter decisions. Alicia supports teams frustrated with the pace of change and crying out for clarity to create measurable impact, tackle inefficiency and get staff excited about public service.

With almost a decade of experience working with public sector teams and senior leaders as a facilitator, coach, speaker and thought leader, Alicia is now a sought-after strategy expert. One of New Zealand’s most highly-accredited public sector facilitators, there is nothing airy-fairy about Alicia’s work. Combining best-practice research and evidence-based methodologies, Alicia gets serious results in even the most challenging environments.

Alicia’s clients consistently report

Increased focus

Higher productivity and engagement

Measurable progress toward big-picture strategic objectives.

Working with Alicia is challenging, lively and fun - but not for the fainthearted!

Ready to learn more?


On a mission to get sh*t done since ages ago


Alicia’s always been a force of nature. After spending her teen years juggling competing priorities like independent living, teen parenthood and university, she was a productivity and strategy machine by the time she kicked off a public sector policy career in her early 20s.

It should be no surprise then, that the slow pace of change, compliance focus and patchy effectiveness of a public sector work environment came as a culture shock.

As a policy advisor and strategic planner, Alicia worked alongside managers and politicians under the microscope, struggling to make good choices and meet community needs.

Unimpressed by the traditional approach to planning and decision-making, Alicia sought fresh ideas. Travelling across New Zealand and Australia, Alicia accumulated best-practice accreditations in investment planning and business case development, to support better public spending decisions.

As a business case and strategy consultant, Alicia observed the same frustrations and patterns across Councils, universities, district health boards, central agencies, CCOs, and third sector organisations.

Identifying a deeper need for strategic perspective and capability in the public sector, Alicia broadened her focus. Strategic programmes focusing on planning, decision-making and priority setting were an instant hit.

With almost a decade’s experience working alongside public sector teams and leaders, Alicia’s strategy programmes have a reputation for getting serious results.

Self-employed since 2014, a brief stint with a global consulting firm in early 2017 was a good lesson that:

a) organisations with layers of ineffective bureaucracy and ticket-clipping should refrain from advising the public sector how to be more effective, and

b) reports, meetings and team lunches were still frustrating obstacles to her mission to get shit done!

A strong believer in public service, Alicia gets excited about supporting bold leaders to make a real difference in their communities.

Her infectious sense of humour, sharp insight and relentlessly pragmatic approach to progress have earned Alicia’s place as a public sector strategy specialist. Unafraid of a challenge, Alicia tests assumptions, challenges executives and politicians, and asks tricky questions.

A Canterbury bogan at heart, Alicia and her family are Wellington-based (in the heart of the public sector, where else?!)

When she’s not facilitating workshops, speaking at conferences or coaching senior leaders, Alicia can be found running trails, spending time with her three daughters or relaxing with a good book.