Deputy Director-General, Policy and Trade

Ministry for Primary Industries

  • Permanent Full Time
  • Wellington

Recovery from the impact of COVID 19, and the growth of New Zealand's economy depends upon the success of our primary sector. With over 3,000 staff the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is helping to support primary sector development by seizing export opportunities, improving sector productivity, ensuring the food we produce is safe, increasing sustainable resource use and protecting New Zealand from biological risk.

This Wellington based role is one of the largest second-tier policy leadership roles in New Zealand, overseeing a branch with around 350 staff, and responsibility for a large suite of legislation and regulations.  The role involves thought leadership and influence across the ministry, government and the primary industries. It also encompasses leadership of MPI's involvement in international trade policy and standard setting, and the negotiation of market access for New Zealand's primary products and food.

The Policy & Trade branch provides policy services on behalf of MPI's business units, and leads thinking within MPI on the sustainable use of resources, economic and market intelligence, and the branch engages on a wide range of key issues of interest to New Zealand's primary sector.

As the successful appointee, you will be a key enabler across the Ministry.  You will lead high level engagement and collaboration across government and industry. To be credible in this role, you will offer:

  • Leadership experience at a senior level (ideally within a policy/trade and regulatory environment), to effectively facilitate the delivery of a complex policy and legislative work programme; including senior level understanding of Te Tiriti O Waitangi obligations
  • Exceptional relationship management and diplomacy skills
  • Superior people leadership with proven history in capability and talent development and a history of empowering others to achieve success
  • Highly tuned listening skills and proven experience as a capable translator who is able to collaborate across industry and translate what matters to industry into government processes
  • Proven political nous and track record of leading engagement with senior Ministers and/or other equivalent stakeholders in industry; Including Iwi Māori and other international indigenous leaders
  • Strong and relevant relationships and networks, with an understanding of how to leverage inter-agency relationships with experience in central government policy

We will consider leaders from within the public policy and trade leadership sphere, or from relevant leadership roles within the private sector, ideally with connectivity to the primary industry. We have a critical part to play supporting New Zealand's largest export sector, and central to this is ensuring the agricultural policies and regulatory settings of the day support this sustainable growth, benefitting all New Zealanders.

For a confidential discussion, please contact Meredith Edwards, Manager Recruitment and Sourcing on 04 830 1526 or E-mail -

To view the position description and/or apply for the role (submitting a cover letter and current curriculum vitae), please click “APPLY NOW” in order to be directed to our website. For tracking and reporting purposes, all applications must be submitted through our online careers portal.

Applications close Sunday 20th September 2020

The Ministry for Primary Industries is committed to providing a working environment that embraces and values inclusion and diversity. Your unique talents and experience will help us deliver exceptional services to our communities in Aotearoa. In return you'll enjoy an inclusive and flexible working environment in a diverse team of people while you're growing your career here in NZ and internationally. We actively encourage applications from all backgrounds. If you have any support or access requirements, we encourage you to tell us when you apply so that we can assist you through the recruitment process.


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