The team

Mark Watts

Managing Partner

+64 (0) 272 504 018

With a 25-year career advising chief executives, board members and a prime minister, Mark delivers expert advice in public affairs and strategic communications.

Mark has held senior positions and consulted at several of New Zealand’s leading companies, including BNZ, SkyCity and Telecom (now Spark).

Between 1996 and 2002, he was a press secretary for Rt Hon Helen Clark, Prime Minister of New Zealand.

Mark’s advice to his clients is informed by a deep strategic perspective, and his extensive networks across the worlds of New Zealand business, politics and the news media. Mark has a record of innovation in government relations and is proud to work closely with leaders of influential New Zealand businesses.

Mark is based in Auckland and regularly works in Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city and its central government hub.

James Watson


+64 (0) 21 917 910

Based in Wellington, James is a seasoned government relations and corporate communications professional.

James’ presence in Wellington, and his deep insights into the politics, policies and personalities of central government, enhances the offering GRC Partners brings to our clients around New Zealand.

His previous role was at ASB, where he combined the roles of the Head of Government Relations and Head of Corporate Responsibility.

Previously, he was adviser to senior ministers in the 2008-2017 government.

He has also been a board member for EMA Northern.


GRC Partners is a proud member of the Clemenger Group, New Zealand’s leading marketing and communications network. We also have a close association with Australia’s leading public affairs and corporate and financial communications counsel, GRACosway.

Mark Watts
Managing Partner
GRC Partners

Les Timar
CEO & Founding Partner

Kirsten Mulley
Managing Partner – Public Affairs

Alex Cramb
Partner – Public Affairs

Mike Higgins
Clemenger Group New Zealand