Government Relations

Working with local and central government agencies to achieve great results.

At Priority Communications, we regularly work with local government and central government clients to support their communications teams or work on major projects. Our areas of expertise include crisis communications; strategic advice for senior managers and mayors; consultation with stakeholders; social media; social marketing campaigns; and liaising with local and national media. We are skilled at reviewing and editing large documents such as Annual Plans and Long Term Plans, and as accomplished wordsmiths, are regularly commissioned to write engaging material for internal and external audiences.

We have had a close working relationship with Ashburton District Council and provided day-to-day communications support to the organisation for many years. During this time, we launched campaigns such as the high profile Start with a Smile (SWAS) and Welcoming Communities projects, assisted with major issues, and supported the TLA during senior management changes. The Ministry of Health has also been one of our key clients. This work has included supporting national health campaigns; working in the Ministry’s media team; and leading communications for the rollout of the New Model for Disability Support Services. We also directed the communications for the Ministries of Social Development, Education and Health in piloting Enabling Good Lives in Christchurch.

As well as being highly skilled in supporting government and local government agencies, we assist other organisations to engage with them.


Priority Communications Director, Michele Hider, has a wealth of experience in government relations, having worked as a consultant/senior advisor to agencies such as the Ministry of Health, Housing New Zealand, Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority and Christchurch City Council. For four and a half years, she was Communications Manager for the Canterbury District Health Board – the South Island’s largest employer.

Communications Advisor John Hobbs also has a strong background in local government including time in the Community Relations Team at Ashburton District Council (ADC) as a community development advisor. In that role he looked after several portfolios including event management, Community Board liaison and grants/funding. In 2016, John won a regional TrustPower Community Award for a resource development project involving ADC’s Youth Council.

If you need assistance with your government or local government communications, make us your first call.