Rationale Banner Company 216



Rationale was established in Arrowtown in 1999 by infrastructure engineer Edward Guy whose vision was to deliver improved infrastructure outcomes for New Zealand, he was joined in 2003 by Director Tom Lucas. Our reputation for independence and adding value in everything we do has seen Rationale become an enduring success story. Growing from an original base in Arrowtown, we now have established additional offices in Wellington and Dunedin.

Rationale has always attracted highly intelligent, driven employees and has a team with a wide range of technical skills including engineering, data analysis, investment management, project management, communications and engagement, GIS, and economics. Our team works hard, enjoys a challenge, and supports each other in all things inside and outside of the office.

Our focus is, and has always been, on improving places for people by helping organisations make great investment decisions. It’s about creating a better world by improving the places we live, work and play. Whether that place is a city, a town, a district, or a region, we bring the tools, skills, and confidence to navigate through the challenges that inevitably come with solving big problems or realising big aspirations.

We work within our client organisations, bringing team members along for the ride and ensuring they learn from the process.


We are a value-based organisation, and this has been central to our longevity and enduring success.

Integrity – Integrity is our key value and our moral compass. It has been the foundation upon which we have built our approach. For us integrity is simple – we think, see and do with integrity. We strive to be fair, professional, impartial, responsible and trustworthy and authentic.

Whānau – The Rationale team is like whanau and people are our biggest asset. We look after our employees and their families and loved ones. We regularly bring the wider Rationale family together to celebrate our achievements, both in and out of work. At the same time, we build strong, enduring and close relationships with our clients and client organisations.

Balance – Ensuring balance is critical. We know the work we do can be challenging and the focus on balance means we can approach complicated projects as a united front, using everyone’s skills where they are needed. Likewise, we expect everyone in the Rationale family to have a healthy work-life balance and will seek to make changes if we identify a lack of balance.

Challenge – Challenge is important to us, both personally and professionally – we thrive on doing hard stuff. We know that we are only as good as our last job and take the approach that nothing is too hard. Our Arrowtown, Dunedin and Wellington locations have allowed us to attract a highly talented team who are as passionate about taking on challenges inside the office as they are in their personal lives.

Success – We celebrate success in all aspects of our lives and those of our clients. We strive for success and deliver it for our clients and communities. 

Rationale Team Arrowtown
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Emily Walker Grid 3 200
Ben Background
Andy Background


Rationale employs a team of likeminded individuals who are all engaged in the outdoors and take personal responsibility to live by sustainable principles.

Several of our staff are actively involved in pest control activities and replanting initiatives as well as initiatives to help bring native birdlife back to Arrowtown and the wider region. We also financially support the Arrowtown Choppers who are currently replanting the Arrowtown Backcountry with native vegetation. We have also supported remote pest trapping operations in the Mt Aspiring National Park, sponsored and helped out with restoration work in the Arrowtown Backcountry and undertaken team planting days in and around Wanaka.

Rationale has recently partnered with a platform called CarbonInvoice. This allows us to analyse our yearly accounts and understand what our carbon footprint is. We then use this information to work out how many native trees we would need to plant to offset our emissions. Our clients are provided an extra line in their invoices, which shows how many trees will be planted to offset the work we have done with them – this is at no cost to our clients.

The number of trees planted through this partnership can be found here.

The magic of partnering with CarbonInvoice, is that they then ensure all the trees required to offset our emissions are native trees, planted in restoration projects in the Otago and Wellington regions through an organisation called Trees That Count.

We actively try to reduce waste in our office, with a recycling system and a largely paperless operation, as well as blanket ban on single use cups. Staff are encouraged to work flexibly, enabling them to work from home and avoid travel as much as possible.

We are actively looking at further ways to reduce our carbon footprint and achieve carbon neutrality in the medium term, to support the Government’s goal of a zero carbon future for New Zealand by 2050. Where applicable, we try to build in the NZ Treasury Living Standards Framework and United Nations Sustainable Development Goals into projects and evaluate these in our optioneering if practical. We also actively help our clients build sustainability into strategies and plans.


Rationale has never swayed from its philosophy of viewing work/life balance as a key part of our success. We often get together throughout the year to celebrate successes, share adventures, or socialise outside work. Several of us have children and we believe that having quality time to help nurture them is as important as the work we do improving infrastructure outcomes.

Our team come from a variety of countries and technical specialties, but with the common trait of leading active and challenging lives, both inside and outside work. We believe people who can dig deep to climb hills, take part in in endurance races or teach their kids to ski or play rugby also bring their determination and drive to helping solve the problems of our clients.

We know that people are our biggest asset. Shared values and strong teamwork are some of the foundations of our success. We believe in being human, in building relationships, not networks, and in treating each other as people, not job titles.

We strongly believe in the importance of setting goals and striving for incremental improvement, and we support everyone in our team on this journey.

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