AUCKLAND--Former Weber Shandwick Asia-Pacific CEO Andrew Pirie is teaming up with two well-known New Zealand PR veterans to launch a new communications and lobbying firm. 

Pirie is joined by Michelle Boag and Cedric Allan at Boag Allan Pirie, which will focus its energies on providing senior-level consultancy services.

Pirie departed Weber Shandwick in 2008, returning from Singapore to New Zealand to consult for a range of clients, including Auckland Airport.  Ex-National Party president Boag was previously executive director at Ogilvy New Zealand, and has also held leadership roles at Hill & Knowlton and Consultus.

Allan, meanwhile, is a former national president of the Public Relations Institute of New Zealand, and has built a number of New Zealand’s largest PR consultancies. He has recently been advising China's Shanghai Pengxin, on its controversial attempt to buy a large tract of NZ dairy farms - a deal that is currently before the courts.

Pirie told the Holmes Report that, in addition to focusing on NZ clients, the firm will aim to capitalise on the Asian experience of its principals, as the country's business links with the region continue to grow.

“In a small country like New Zealand, it is essential to have a keen knowledge of the influences that
impact on business and organisations - whether they be central or local government, media or public
and interest groups," added Boag.

“Our intention is not to build an agency ‘factory’ where more junior people need to be continually
supplied with work.” she continued. “We have deliberately chosen an operating model for which there is
clear market demand, where clients will benefit from close interaction with the senior principals, and where we will hand-pick other consultants and specialists to work with us on particular assignments and contribute their particular skills."