Policy Director | Employment, Skills and Immigration Policy

Date:  16-Sep-2022

Wellington, NZ, 6011

Discover a career with purpose at MBIE

  • Lead work across labour market policy – on employment, skills, immigration and border – and with wider economic and social policy areas, to support New Zealand’s recovery and to address long-term drivers of productivity and wellbeing
  • Work alongside passionate and highly engaged people
  • Provide support for the GM in running the branch and driving policy capability improvements alongside the leadership team
  • Salary range: $171k to $214k depending on skills and experience
  • Wellington based opportunity


Tēnei tūranga -

About the role:

We have one Policy Director opportunity available within the Labour, Science and Enterprise Group in the Employment, Skills and Immigration Policy Branch.

As a Policy Director, you will help us to deliver on a complex and ambitious work programme, grow MBIE’s leadership role on labour market policy, and support branch development and culture.

We are a fun and busy branch – we are committed to robust and collaborative policy advice and thrive on strong relationships, growing our people and culture, and the inherently motivating purposes of our portfolios. We are involved in a wide set of policy issues that range across economic and social policy, national security and foreign affairs, and so we work across MBIE, across Government and on a wide variety of issues. We also engage with a wide range of industry stakeholders and sectors.


Key areas of work for us include:

  • Working with our operational partner, Immigration New Zealand to bed in changes to our immigration system 
  • Effective interventions to support workers and firms to improve participation in the labour market, including working on active labour market policies
  • Longer term solutions to the negative outcomes for displaced workers, whether from COVID-19 type shocks or the future of work, including social/unemployment insurance
  • How to get the right balance in immigration policies between meeting the skills needs of the economy/regions/sectors, improving employment opportunities for New Zealanders, and support for a higher wage, higher productivity economy
  • Implementation of the Māori employment action plan and new targeted initiatives under the Government’s Employment Strategy to drive improvements in skills and employment outcomes, working as a key partner in the Employment, Education and Training cross-government cluster
  • Supporting a strong and robust immigration system that serves its economic, security and humanitarian objectives, is sustainable, and has a fit for purpose legal framework, as well as responding to the upcoming Productivity Commission report on immigration
  • Understanding the state of the labour market and key performance challenges and opportunities, and supporting Regional Skills Leadership Groups to establish regional workforce planning that will improve demand side signalling and support better matching of labour supply and demand over time through information and coordination
  • Growing our capability and practice in engaging with Māori and in Te Tiriti analysis in our portfolios. 


In this role you will partner with the GM, other policy directors (two), and managers in driving the strategic agenda across portfolios, across MBIE and other agencies. 

You will apply your thought leadership, strategic nous and influencing skills to help shape priorities and policy that improves longer term labour market outcomes and wellbeing and use your management skills to support the GM and leadership team to continuously improve its running of a busy and growing branch. The particular focus for this role will depend in part on the skills and experience of the successful candidate but is likely to include supporting our COVID work and building our links with economic portfolios.

Ngā pukenga me ngā wheako e hiahiatia ana -

Skills and experience required:

We want a policy director who is a natural collaborator, intellectually curious and with significant policy expertise, a good leader, action oriented, and motivated by the opportunities ahead of us. 

You will like variety and pace, be a self-starter, and bring: 

  • The ability to think and deliver strategically
  • Wide ranging expertise in policy development and analysis
  • Sophisticated understanding of the key influences on our economy and business environment 
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and maintain effective relationships with, and gain the trust of, Ministers, senior public service officials, internal and external stakeholders
  • Significant experience in leading complex work at senior levels
  • Demonstrated political nous and pragmatism
  • Leadership skills that are suited to a branch leadership role and a commitment to policy leadership and capability building more broadly at and beyond MBIE 


What you will get in return

The high level of trust and autonomy in this role will mean no two days are the same. Your broad scope means you will develop excellent relationships and networks in our organisation and across the system. You will have a balanced portfolio of work which leverages and grows your skills and expertise. 
We are committed to supporting good work/life balance, keeping you healthy and safe, building your knowledge of te reo and tikanga Māori, and developing your leadership skills, profile and career.

Ētahi kōrero mō MBIE -

About MBIE:

MBIE's goal is to create a resilient and high-performing economy that delivers real and ongoing quality of life for all New Zealanders.

We do this by working with others to create an environment that supports businesses to be more productive and internationally competitive, enables all New Zealanders to participate in the economy through improved job opportunities and by working to ensure quality housing is more affordable.

People are at the heart of our mahi, our way of working is guided by our values which shape our behaviours.

  • Mahi Tahi – Better Together
  • Māia – Bold and brave
  • Pae Kahurangi – Build our Future
  • Pono Me Te Tika – Own It


Our aspirations are echoed in our Māori identity – Hīkina Whakatutuki – which broadly means ‘lifting to make successful'.

MBIE recognises the partnership founded under Te Tiriti o Waitangi between Māori and the Crown and is committed to giving effect to Te Tiriti o Waitangi. We will do this through enduring, meaningful and effective partnerships with iwi, Māori, other Māori groups/organisations and the Crown, as this is critical to enable economic and social development, both for Māori and for wider Aotearoa New Zealand. We are committed to continuing to partner with iwi in order to find new sustainable solutions to address long standing systemic and cross-cutting issues facing Māori and wider Aotearoa New Zealand and we are also committed to identifying opportunities for iwi to lead and creating an enabling environment for iwi to leverage these opportunities.

E mōhio ana a Hīkina Whakatutuki i puea ake te kōtuinga I waenganui i a ngāi Māori me te Karauna i Te Tiriti o Waitangi, ā, kei te whai ia ki te whakaū ake i Te Tiriti o Waitangi. Mā te whai kiko o ngā kōtuinga ahungaroa o ngāi wi, o ngāi Māori, me ētahi atu rōpū Māori ki te Karauna, katutuki tēnei. He āhuatanga nui tēnei e āhei ai ngā mahi whanaketanga ā-ohanga, ā-pāpori hoki ki a ngāi Māori me Aotearoa whānui. E whai tonu ana mātou ki te kōtui atu ki ngā iwi mō te rapu huarahi hou ki te whakaara i ngā kaupapakua roa nei e tāmi ana i a ngāi Māori me Aotearoa whānui, ā, e whai ana hoki ki te tautohu i ngā āheinga kōkiritanga mā ngā iwi, me te tautoko i ngā iwi kia whai mana ake ai ēnei āheinga.

Me pēhea te tono -

How to apply:

Click here to view a position description. All applications must be submitted via our online process.  Email Monica Chow at monica.chow2@mbie.govt.nz quoting ref MBIE/8408 if you have any further questions.

Applications close on 2nd oct 2022