Head of Strategic Engagement


Jack is RCP’s cultural engagement guru. With more than 20 years’ experience as an international and local executive, he has led organisational development and strategy at both governance and C-suite levels.

Jack is adept at working across cultures, and engaging and managing multiple stakeholders, including community groups and governments in New Zealand and abroad. A New Zealand-born Tongan, he is passionate about incorporating te ao Māori and Pasifika values in his work, and skilfully acts as a ‘technical bridge’ to bring diverse groups together. He ensures the values of our communities are understood and respected, and guides all parties through the process so that everyone can contribute meaningfully to project outcomes.

On the client front, Jack is assisting Tāmaki Regeneration Company across its multiple community housing projects by fostering an active partnership with hapū, iwi and the Pasifika community. He is also facilitating engagement with hapū, iwi and the wider community to assist delivery of Whanganui District Council’s refreshed Leading Edge Strategy. Similarly, Jack supported Auckland Council with iwi engagement for its Shoreline Adaptation Plan Programme along the Tāmaki Makaurau shoreline.

Jack’s collaborative style of leadership empowers those he shares his knowledge with to do the same. He is using this approach to help RCP develop its own cultural capability.

Jack is an accomplished networker and a connector, and his ‘superpower’ is bringing people together to work towards a common goal. With a focus on accelerating change, he leverages his strong business acumen, and knack for identifying opportunities and risk, to deliver strategies that foster collaboration and integration.

Beyond RCP, Jack is Deputy Chair for the New Zealand Business Council of Papua New Guinea, the New Zealand Business Council of Tonga and the New Zealand Business Council of Pacific. He is also a business coach to young entrepreneurs.

If you’re a classical music buff, Jack may be familiar to you – he was a professional opera singer. The tenor remains invested in the arts – he sits on three different trust boards in the classical music space and enjoys mentoring up-and-coming talent.

“I’m helping to build cultural intelligence and competency across our team to ensure that everyone feels comfortable in this space; it's a journey.”

When I wear my ta’ovala (Tongan attire), it reminds me of the journey I’m on and how special it is to have my parents with me. My parents sacrificed a lot so that my siblings and I could excel. 

But culture was never one of them. 

Now, as I navigate the cultural engagement space, I am grateful to be able to honour my parents, wearing my ta’ovala as I bring people, businesses and communities together.

As I’ve worked with stakeholders across countries and cultures for the past 20 years, and particularly as I’ve worked in Aotearoa over the past year connecting private, government, iwi and community organisations, I believe that true engagement and partnership should be based on clear intention, honesty, and transparency.

Jack Bourke’s Insights