Principal and Senior Advisors - Strategic Issues and Investment (Strategy and Insights)

Ministry of Social Development

  • Wellington

Permanent and Fixed Term Opportunities

  • Lead work on complex and strategically important social issues
  • Support the Ministry to focus its resources on investments that position it to respond effectively to issues over the medium-to-long term
  • Lead by example in the use evidence and critical thinking to make a difference for New Zealanders

We are looking for two to three new team members, at either the Senior Advisor or Principal Advisor levels. We’re open to permanent, fixed-term or secondment appointments.

The Strategy and Insights Group leads the development and implementation of the Ministry’s strategy by creating insights for effective decision-making, focusing resources on the right investments, understanding and evaluating performance and supporting the alignment of the organisation to achieve its purpose.

Strategic Issues and Investment works on issues of high or future significance to MSD. 

  • Our Principal Advisors lead work dealing with complex issues that have the potential to deliver better social and employment outcomes for New Zealanders. As a Senior Advisor you will have responsibility for leading delivery of priority products and contributing across a range of areas. If you are looking for career development and have a strong policy, research or data analysis background, this could be a great opportunity to develop and extend your experience and skills.

Examples of the team’s work include work on child poverty reduction, mitigating the social and psychosocial impacts of COVID-19, household incomes and material wellbeing, MSD’s employment and social outcomes investment strategy, social sector commissioning, community resilience and how the welfare system meets the needs of New Zealanders. 

To be successful in these roles you will need:

  • substantial applied policy, research and/or analytical experience 
  • proven skills and a knowledge base relevant to working on social issues
  • strong relationship management, communication and influencing skills. 

We value diversity and are looking to increase the team’s capability and impact by expanding its breadth of experience, perspectives and backgrounds. 

If you have any questions about this or any other aspects of the team or roles, please contact Laura Crespo or Sean Maxwell, the team’s Co-Directors (   

How to apply

To apply, click the 'Apply Now' button to upload your CV, cover letter and complete the online application form.  Note: Your cover letter will be a key part of our assessment process, so please highlight how your experience relates to the competencies listed in the position description. 

All applications must be made online.  If this is not possible or if you have any queries, please contact us at  

Closing date: Sunday 27th June 2021 

Position Description

Joining us

Joining MSD means being part of a whānau that celebrates the diversity each individual represents.  We show manaaki, we care about the wellbeing and success of people and want everyone to thrive, and be who they are in a supportive and inclusive working environment. We work together to make a difference for communities while doing the right thing with integrity. We are a Treaty partner committed to strengthening relationships with Māori, Hapū, Iwi and communities to realise their own potential and aspirations.

If you have any support or access requirements, we encourage you to tell us when you apply so we can assist you through the recruitment process.

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