Principal Advisor - PMO

Ministry of Education

  • Full Time Fixed Term
  • Wellington
  • Principal Adviser - Secondary Tertiary
  • Wellington - fixed-term, full-time

About our group

The Secondary Tertiary team sits within the Early Learning and Student Achievement Group (ELSA) and covers the transition from senior secondary through to tertiary and employment.

ELSA works to make learning and teaching relevant, real and valued. We deliver and maintain critical services for the education sector to support responsive learner pathways from early childhood into further education, training, the workforce and society. ELSA performs a crucial role working between the strategy and policy teams, and the sector facing functions. The Secondary Tertiary team is responsible for operational policy, curriculum and support programmes for Year 11-13 learners, and the secondary-tertiary interface. This includes senior secondary curriculum, NCEA (including the ongoing NCEA Review and preparing for the Review of Achievement Standards) and secondary-tertiary programmes.

Principal Adviser role

The Principal Adviser is responsible for thought leadership and supporting a small team to develop and implement systems and processes for assessing the impact, and supporting excellent implementation, of the NCEA Change Programme.

The Principal Adviser shows innovation, pragmatism and collaboration in providing strategic support and advice on the effective use of data, insights and learnings to teams and the wider leadership group.

About the person

The person we seek will be an adaptable, fast learner who can appreciate the importance of well delivered projects so we can make the best difference to all New Zealanders. Our ideal candidate will take pride in producing high quality work, be an innovative thinker, have leadership skills and will be comfortable working independently to achieve defined objectives. The person will be sensitive to cultural values and have a good understanding of the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

They will have sharp interpersonal skills, superior writing skills, and will be comfortable working with a diverse range of stakeholders and representing the Ministry. 

Experience and qualifications

Candidates will have the following:

  • Relevant tertiary qualification
  • Experience providing high level advice, at a national level
  • Significant relationship building experience
  • Experience in developing systems and processes for gathering, analysing and reporting data and information, and assessing impact
  • Experience in developing surveys and evaluation plans, ideally including human-centred design is desirable

Are you ready to make a difference?

We welcome candidates from diverse backgrounds, including Māori, Pacific and those with disabilities, who will enrich our understanding of the education system.

As a government agency, the Ministry is committed to keeping to the Treaty of Waitangi's guiding principles in our work for and with Māori students, their whānau, hapū and iwi.

Please review the job description and if this opportunity interests you, and you meet the requirements, apply now using the 'apply online' button.

For further information please contact Emily Fairless at 


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