Principal Policy Advisor

Date:  19 May 2023

Wellington, NZ, 6011

Discover a career with purpose at MBIE


  • Use your public policy skills and knowledge of government to shape a work programme that brings some of the most innovative firms to New Zealand
  • Be part of a team that contributes to the ongoing diversification of New Zealand's innovation-led economy
  • Work in an exciting, dynamic, future-focused environment with new challenges


Salary 132 - 160k plus kiwisaver and employee benefits.


Tēnei tūranga - About the role:


This is a unique role, combining policy nous and a commercially-focused approach. We are looking for talented, creative and innovative policy professionals with a background in science and innovation policy, R&D, or technology-focused sectors who are keen to extend themselves with complex, ambiguous and novel problems. You will need to be able to share and influence areas of policy, and be able to work comfortably within the government system. You will need to be able to think in both a public and private sector way to solve problems.


About the team


The Innovative Partnerships Team is a relatively new team based within the Science, Innovation and International Branch of MBIE. It develops new ways to bring international firms to New Zealand through innovative policy thinking. We work closely with both the science and innovation communities in New Zealand as well as international companies to ensure the levers exist to bring more economic growth to New Zealand. Our focus areas include, space, advanced aviation, future foods, clean energy and health innovation. This is a relatively new team with lots of opportunities for development and growth. The work we do is interesting, varied, exciting and challenging.  

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

hat You Will Need To Bring


Ideally you will be experienced in public policy, with an understanding of R&D and businesses development processes.  We value action-orientated people with a willingness to learn and a focus on getting the job done. You will need to be comfortable managing stakeholders both domestically and internationally, in the public and private sectors, and coming up with practical recommendations and leading edge solutions. You will need to be a good communicator, creative thinker, and problem-solver.   Experience working in one or more of our focus areas would be a distinct advantage. 


We are a small team that places a strong value on supporting each other, open debate, and above all producing excellent work. We work across a wide portfolio, so each team member has genuine responsibility for delivery of the work programme, and autonomy to plan and organise their own work.

Who are we looking for?


  • Self-motivated people with excellent, positive and confident stakeholder management skills
  • An ability to think in different ways, and look at problems from other perspectives
  • An ability to quickly learn about new concepts, technologies, and scientific industries and understand the opportunities in a public policy space
  • An aptitude for working with ambiguity, translating policy objectives into practical, actionable steps and following through
  • Intellectual curiosity and a willingness to ‘follow your nose' to find, and solve, complex problems 
  • Action orientated, able to develop project plans to deliver on the opportunity
  • The ability to deliver high quality policy work in a fast-paced environment
  • Policy experience in one or more of our focus areas and experience in leading collaborative work programmes across a wide range of organisations and government agencies 


Ētahi kōrero mō MBIE - About MBIE:



MBIE's purpose is to grow New Zealand for all. Achieving this will mean New Zealanders have higher standards of living, higher incomes, greater job opportunities and good quality, affordable housing. Our group – Labour, Science and Enterprise (LSE) – works with people, businesses, regions, and the science, innovation and education systems to help the country and New Zealanders to be successful.


You will be part of an influential, energised and action-orientated team focused on stakeholder relationships.


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 Matt Guy at quoting ref MBIE/9840 if you have any further questions.


Applications close on 5th of June 2023