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Future Partners is owned and managed by Kirsty Burnett — an experienced international development consultant

Future Partners is an international development consultancy service affiliated with the New Zealand Council for International Development. From our office in Wellington, New Zealand we provide services to clients in New Zealand, Asia, and the Pacific.

Future Partners is owned and managed by Kirsty Burnett. She oversees all Future Partners assignments and ensures they meet our high standards, and often manages the team carrying out the work. Kirsty will be your first point of contact when you want to discuss your project needs — she manages Future Partners’ relationships with all our clients.


We assemble a team with a mix of expertise and personal qualities that suits the client’s needs for each assignment. We have access to project design and MERL specialists, subject matter experts and consultants in many Pacific countries. Meet some of our team.

Future Partners is governed by an Advisory Board that:

  • advise us on our direction

  • review our business plan

  • monitor our progress against our goals

  • support us with our professional development and networking

  • spot check our work to ensure we are maintaining high-quality services

  • recommend the recipient for our annual donation.

Meet our advisory board members.

About Kirsty

Photo of Kirsty Burnett in Kiribati

Kirsty has dedicated her career to international development. She has lived and worked in developing countries for over 30 years — including 18 years in the Pacific — and experienced a myriad of cultures, and political, economic, and security situations. Kirsty’s work has taken her to over 20 countries in the Pacific, Asia, and the Middle East.


Having worked for the New Zealand Government, international development NGOs, UN agencies, the private sector, and an international development consultancy, Kirsty understands the reality and challenges of implementing successful long-term projects and emergency humanitarian relief projects. She understands donors’ priorities and the various funding modalities and business processes they use. Kirsty has sat on the governance boards of the Council for International Development and Volunteer Service Abroad.

From 2005 to 2011, Kirsty worked for the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) in Wellington and Honiara. As an independent consultant, she has been a pre-approved supplier of project design and MERL services for MFAT. She has completed more than 70 project design, project management, MERL, and project improvement assignments for MFAT and MFAT-funded organisations. These assignments have involved working with New Zealand government departments, crown research institutes, private companies, UN agencies, international NGOs, and Pacific regional agencies. Kirsty is very familiar with MFAT’s business processes and procedures and helps her clients understand and use them in their projects.

In 2022, Kirsty established Future Partners to:

  • provide a full range of interlinked international development project-related services

  • strengthen the links between organisations that focus on improving the lives of people in developing countries

  • build a team of Pasifika individuals and organisations who can take on international development work.

Kirsty is committed to developing the skills of the consultants and organisations with whom she works in developing countries; she regards them as true partners. Each member of the Future Partners team dedicates time to developing the skills of others, supports our clients to develop their networks, and donates a small proportion of their income to an international development or humanitarian cause.

Kirsty is an expert in designing practical projects that are easy to implement and measure and achieve the right results for the people who will benefit from them. Her ability to engage the right players at the right time, take account of relevant issues such as climate change, the needs of the more vulnerable, and tackle risks and issues as they arise, means the projects she works on have good ‘buy-in’ and stay on track.

Although Kirsty has an agricultural background, she has designed and managed projects in most sectors, including climate-change adaptation, community development, customs, disaster-risk reduction, education, fisheries, violence against women and children, health, water and sanitation, labour mobility, law and justice, public-sector reform and governance, renewable energy, taxation, transport and other infrastructure and water.

Kirsty is qualified in:

  • PRINCE2 project management methodology

  • Better Business Case methodology

  • partnership brokering 

  • editing and proofreading.

Kirsty Burnett


"Kirsty shows obvious care for our welfare. She is sincere and respects our protocols, such as providing gifts (koha) to people we met on our field trip."

Rikiaua Takeke, CEO, Kiribati Local Government Association

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