Meet Laura Harding

We are thrilled to welcome Laura as Senior Manager in Wellington. Laura joined us in January 2024, and brings a wealth of public and private sector expertise, making her a valuable addition to the Rationale whanau.

Growing up on the shores of Lake Okāreka, Rotorua, Laura she fostered her interest in the natural world and how to care for it. After completing a Bachelor of Resource and Environmental Planning at Massey University, Laura jumped right into Central Government, starting her career at the Ministry for the Environment (MfE).

Laura has held a number of strategic and operational roles across the public and private sector. She has a strong track record in successfully delivering significant and complex projects across both central and local government, including:

  • implementation of the Resource Management Act 1991, leading her to work on RMA reform legislation and regulation.
  • Prepared the Defence Estate Regeneration Programme Plan 2016-2030 and co-led its subsequent Cabinet-directed refresh in 2019. Her work contributed to an increase in the indicative capital investment in the Defence Estate from $1.7B to $2.1B to 2030.
  • Led the implementation programme for setting up a new team and business functions within the Ministry for the Environment to give effect to new COVID-19 Fast-track consenting legislation.
  • Part of the team supporting the Crown Manager appointed by the Minister of Local Government in response to Christchurch City Council’s loss of accreditation as a Building Consent Authority.

Laura's contribution across a variety of sectors underscores her ability to translate complex information into easily digestible solutions across a range of areas, for a range of audiences. She thrives off working in reactive environments — a skillset that has never been more important in today’s uncertain environment.

Laura is enthusiastic about getting back into the professional advisory space, delivering results for our clients and communities around the country. “I’m looking forward to getting involved in a wide variety of work and taking on some new challenges”.

As an experienced Business Case Practitioner and trained Investment Logic Mapping facilitator, Laura’s skillset matches up perfectly with the work we do at Rationale.

In her spare time, Laura also fits in with the Rationale ethos of doing hard stuff for fun and enjoys getting outdoors and keeping fit. She is a keen cross-country runner, mountain biker, and skier in the winter. Over the years she has participated in a number of running events and has explored a number of New Zealand’s Mountain bike parks and trails, taking the opportunity to see and explore new parts of the country from a different perspective.

Something that really drew Laura to Rationale was the values - “being able to work collaboratively with a team that has such strong value alignment with my own, that’s really important to me.”

When she’s not occupied with her other more physically strenuous interests, she is generally out and about with her adopted ‘furry family’, getting enjoyment from introducing them to new places and experiences.