Blake Mitchell

Blake Mitchell

Company: Frequency

Job title: Partner – Project Controls


About Blake

Originally qualifying with a Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) from the University of Auckland, my career largely focussed on design and contract management of major motorway and other infrastructure projects. This included international experience in Australia and the UK. My New Zealand experience with Aurecon covered the CRL and a number of major Waka Kotahi projects, and included 18 months based in Thailand managing offshore design work.

I strongly believe that project management is critical to successful project and portfolio delivery, and I am passionate about influencing our industry to become more efficient. This is why I moved to Frequency five years ago.

Frequency is a specialist project management and advisory consultancy – we work closely to support many of Aotearoa’s major client organisations to deliver their capital works portfolios. I am proud to be a shareholding partner and part of the executive leadership team, and I am especially proud of the sustainable organic growth we have achieved in recent years.

Outside work, you’ll find me with my beautiful partner in crime, Jacqui, and our doggo Lucy, camping in our old Landcruiser, road tripping on motorbikes, or travelling to explore new places and cultures.

Pepeha or whakapapa/family history

Nō Sweden ngā Scotland ōku tupuna
I whānau mai ahau i Tāmaki Makaurau
Ko Rangitoto te maunga
Ko Hauraki te moana
Kei Frequency ahau e mahi ana
Ko Blake Mitchell toku ingoa

What is your strategic vision for ACE New Zealand?

I'd like to increase involvement and influence with major client organisations that ACE member organisations work with. Improvements in this area could have direct and tangible changes for the better of our members and the industry. If we can help unlock some efficiency gains (for example, procurement methods and pipeline visibility), the clients and the New Zealand taxpayer would also benefit.

I’d like to further utilise the strength of existing organisations to help standardise tools and systems, especially for small and medium-sized consultancies. We all have different specialisations and niches, but we are essentially very similar from a business perspective – selling our smarts and time. The way we operate and the business systems and tools we need are also similar - there’s no need for firms to reinvent the wheel. ACE is doing good work in this space with its working groups and I’d like to see this continued and increased.

I’d like to continue the good work in promoting diversity in the industry. I am particularly interested in what can be done in the foundational areas of supporting school children to be excited about and succeed in STEM subjects. I have enjoyed supporting the Wonder Project and other initiatives.

What strengths would you bring to the ACE Board?

I feel I am well placed to understand both ends of the ACE member organisation spectrum, having worked for both a large global engineering design firm and more recently a growing local consultancy.

I have experience as a leader in the successful organic growth of a consultancy (Frequency). As a business leader and shareholder, I understand the pressures of having to wear multiple competing hats when running a consultancy business.

I will bring a different perspective from a project management mindset and focus. I can also bring a client’s perspective as much of my work involves interacting with engineering consultancies from the client’s side.

I can offer additional insights from, and access to, Frequency’s and my own strong relationships with numerous major client organisations.

What does diversity and inclusion mean to you?

An open and welcoming environment free from bias, where everybody feels included and encouraged to contribute, be themselves, and the principle of “equity over equality” is embraced.

I enjoy seeing people bring their unique perspectives (viewpoints, priorities, experience and interpretations) and I am always amazed at the different ideas and solutions that I wouldn’t have thought of or considered. The result is more thoughtful outcomes that better suit the cross section of our society. It’s a bit like having a good quiz team, really!

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