Principal Service Designer

Ara Poutama Aotearoa

  • Wellington

Vacancy Number: APA/1549708
Closing Date: 29th July 2021

Location: Wellington (Te Whanganui a Tara)

Recruitment Contact: - 

About the Job

  • Fixed term Contract until end Oct 2022
  • Salary range of $110,091 - $155,423
  • Join this incredibly talented and busy team

'Kotahi anō te kaupapa, ko te oranga o te iwi' – ‘There is only one purpose to our work:  the wellness and wellbeing of our people.'

Mō te tūnga | About the role

The Principal Service Designer is at the forefront of providing strong co-design leadership and advice that takes into account Te Ao Māori and the complexity of tāne, whānau, iwi and community experiences and perspectives. The Principal Service Designer will bring their knowledge and skills to role model best practice to the wider team, based upon their experiences of service design.  

In return you will be part of a passionate team who are focused on delivering leading edge change that make a real difference in the lives of New Zealanders. Our work programme is dynamic and offers the opportunity to be involved in many parts of the organisation. You will thrive in our unique environment where no two days are the same!

Mōu | About you 

Our ideal candidates will have a curiosity, flexibility, and openness in analysing and integrating ideas, information, and differing perspectives; to make fit-for-purpose decisions.  You will think, plan, and act strategically; to engage others in the vision, and position teams and organisations to meet Māori Pathways future needs.  You will be comfortable to lead and communicate in a clear, persuasive, impactful, and inspiring way to convince others to embrace change and take action.

The role accountabilities include:

  • Leading and supporting complex projects that require human-centred design and managing their delivery as part of an overall work programme that contributes to significant business transformation
  • Leading and supporting a number of multi-disciplinary teams to successfully define, develop and deliver innovative user-centric solutions in co-design with key stakeholders
  • Leading holistic and collaborative approaches to service design (including Māori cultural frameworks and Māori best practice approaches), from research and insight generation to concept development and operational delivery
  • Provide strong co-design leadership and advice which takes into account Te Ao Māori and the complexity of tāne, whānau, iwi and community experiences and perspectives;
  • Championing the design and delivery of fit-for-purpose solutions that support better outcomes for Māori, Pacific Peoples and other cultures
  • Design using a comprehensive systems view - uncovering the intended and unintended consequences of change and aligning the parts to the whole;
  • Providing in-depth expertise across the team and wider teams including supporting the Delivery Manager Māori Pathways and on the job coaching to peers, wider team colleagues and key stakeholders
  • Proactively managing business partner and stakeholder relationships, and representing Ara Poutama Aotearoa in key co-design, business, governance, and cross-agency forums

Ngā pūkenga me ngā wheako | Skills and experience

To be successful you will have:

  • Proven experience in developing and leading service design and delivery processes that contribute to significant business transformation
  • Demonstrated ability to lead and support a number of multi-disciplinary teams in co-design with key stakeholders
  • An excellent understanding and commitment to service design and delivery which demonstrates sensitivity towards Māori, Pacific Peoples and other cultures
  • Ability to champion design and delivery of fit-for-purpose solutions that support better outcomes for Māori, Pacific Peoples and other cultures
  • Knowledge and understanding of tikanga and Te Ao Māori
  • Strong ability to operate effectively in a Māori cultural setting and proven understanding of and commitment to the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi
  • Demonstrated ability to lead, influence and interact with diverse stakeholders at different levels
  • Excellent ability to use persuasive, influencing and conflict management skills to resolve critical issues in high visibility forums.
  • Excellent written communication skills delivering communications in plain English which are clear, concise and logical.


  • Service Design experience is essential
  • Formal service design qualifications are preferred but not essential.

Other requirements

  • A valid driver licence and availability to travel are required.

Mō mātou | About us

Ara Poutama Aotearoa is a name that has been gifted to us and is our commitment to improving the oranga and safety of the people, whānau, and that of the communities we serve across the motu. 

As a values-led organisation, we use the principles of rangatira (leadership), manaaki (respect), wairua (spirituality), kaitiaki (guardianship) and whānau (relationships) to shape how we work and deliver the outcomes in our strategy - Hōkai Rangi (

Tono ināianei | Apply Now

To apply, please submit a tailored CV and a cover letter (PDF) describing your motivation for joining the department highlighting relevant skills and experience. Alignment to our kaupapa is critical to our success - we ask that you provide examples which reflect and demonstrate our organisation values. 

It is an exciting time to join us and we continue to seek out talented individuals who are committed to an inclusive, vibrant workplace. We recognise and celebrate the uniqueness of individuals, and that of the collective talent in our whānau.  All applications must be submitted through our careers site to ensure transparency. Applications received via email will not be considered. 

If you want to find out more about a career with us, visit or email our team at

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