Principal Policy Advisor (Income Insurance Policy)

Date:  18-Jan-2023

Wellington, NZ, 6011

Discover a career with purpose at MBIE



  • Lead advice on establishing the New Zealand Income Insurance scheme to provide income protection for New Zealanders when they lose their job
  • Challenging and intellectually stimulating work where you have the unique opportunity to be part of introducing one of the biggest reforms to the New Zealand labour market
  • Be part of a supportive team that is committed to growth, development, and with the opportunity to mentor and coach team members 
  • Salary range $132,417 - $160,472 + Kiwisaver and wellness benefit
  • Permanent full-time role

Tēnei tūranga - About the role:


Our Principal Policy Advisors take the lead on complex and high-profile projects. They apply their experience, skills and talent to engage and work collaboratively with our stakeholders and Ministers. 

They bring their solid understanding of legislative frameworks, policy processes, Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the Treaty principles, and the wider political environment to help better position Aotearoa’s workplaces for the future.

They are part of our policy leadership within their team and play a lead role in supporting and coaching our staff.

These roles involve leading advice, shaping the work programme, developing team members, and working constructively with stakeholders, Ministers, senior officials and across the public sector.

You will be joining a high performing team in a busy and high-profile policy area. Value is placed on an enabling and collaborative team culture and teaching policy craft.  


About the team


Income Insurance Policy is a brand-new policy team. We support the Government’s decision-making on income insurance for people losing work due to redundancy, or health conditions and disability. Loss of work for these reasons can harm workers, their whānau, and their communities.


Income insurances aims to support people while they are out of work, and help them back to work that matches their skills and aspirations. A proposal for a new income insurance scheme is laid out in the discussion document released by the Government and its partners in February 2022. You can find more information here.


The team is the Government’s lead advisor on income insurance policy. This includes both the policy rationale for income insurance, and the detailed policy and legislative design of the proposed new income insurance scheme. The work involves working closely with ministers, unions, and employer representatives, and partner agencies. In particular we work closely with ACC, MSD, IRD and the Treasury.


This work offers a unique opportunity to improve social and economic outcomes. You’ll need to be comfortable working on issues that touch on economic, financial, and social considerations. Our work is often at the centre of discussions about the complex relationships between regulation, productivity, and wellbeing. 


We deliver on the Government’s objectives while providing free and frank advice, factoring in the interests of our many stakeholders, and upholding the Crown’s obligations under te Tiriti o Waitangi.


We are part of the Employment, Skills and Immigration Policy branch, which leads the government’s advice on labour market issues. This is part of the Labour, Science and Enterprise Group at MBIE where connections are made to how immigration settings can align with and support labour market, skill development, economic and industry transformation policy and goals.  

We work with a range of government and non-Government stakeholders to facilitate good labour market outcomes from a set of regulatory and non-regulatory systems. 


Why work for us?


Developing our policy staff is a key focus for MBIE.  We have a culture where policy staff are empowered to bring fresh perspectives to issues and to think ‘outside the box’.  Being the largest ‘policy shop’ in NZ, MBIE offers significant opportunity for developing experience across a broad variety of areas. We encourage excellence and proactively support development through on-the-job learning, training courses, conferences and seminars, development programmes, secondments, rotations to other branches and study opportunities.


Ngā pukenga me ngā wheako e hiahiatia ana - Skills and experience required:


The Principal Policy Advisor is a leadership position in MBIE. We are looking for motivated people with experience leading high-profile policy projects and a track record of problem solving and providing quality advice in complex situations.  


You will be working in partnership with the Policy Manager and other Principal Policy Advisors to lead and develop an already capable policy team. In this context. importance is placed on supporting team members to lead advice themselves while refining their policy skills and judgement.  


Experience in labour market and economic policy and working with regulatory systems would be valuable, but most important is the ability to think analytically and strategically through issues and balance principled and pragmatic considerations. 


We are keen to hear from you if you have:

  • Experience leading complex policy projects within central government, and the ability to shape and drive policy projects
  • Extensive experience in public policy, ideally including working on primary legislation and regulation
  • A good understanding of Te Tiriti o Waitangi principles and application of these in public policy and in partnership with Māori
  • Strong stakeholder relationship building, influencing and engagement skills to gain the cooperation and commitment of others
  • Passion for leading and coaching others to develop their policy craft 
  • The legal right to live and work in New Zealand.

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 Roxana Anderson at quoting ref MBIE/9960 if you have any further questions.


Applications close on Monday, 6th February 2023