Roles at the Ministry for the Environment and skills we value

An overview of roles at MfE and the kinds of skills we value.

Policy roles

As one of the government’s larger policy shops, we are always looking for talented policy analysts at all levels. You can help us deliver on our goals by leading high-quality, innovative, evidence-based policy in new, contentious, sensitive or complex areas. Many of our issues have both short-term and long-term impacts for New Zealand.

You will be involved in a variety of complex and challenging work; helping us create a culture where people are encouraged to question existing frameworks and paradigms and have constructive debate. You will be adept at including and valuing different perspectives from a wide range of external parties, using data insight, evidence and empathy to tell stories that resonate and align people around a common goal.

Our Mana Taiao team is at the forefront of growing and empowering meaningful relationships with Treaty partners to uphold obligations and advance to mutually beneficial partnerships that support Aotearoa being the most liveable place in the world. Our Treaty partnership, mātauranga Māori and Māori economic success form an important part of the foundation that we build this future on.

Rotating roles among different areas and teams

We rotate our management and policy roles to provide development opportunities and to align resources where needed. This means what you work on, your manager or team-mates can change, giving you exposure to different skills and experiences.

Organisational performance roles

We want to do things in new ways and have a real impact using new and innovative processes, benchmarking ourselves against some of the best global operators.

We aim to keep bureaucracy to a minimum and our people’s experience at the forefront. Our role is to enable the ministry to succeed and to position the organisation for future success.

We are looking for people who are future-focused and customer-oriented across a range of disciplines including legal, procurement, communications, executive relations, people and culture, finance, and information technology.

The skills we value

In recruiting for all of our roles, we look for attributes described in our Edge behaviours.

Acting with integrity, being objective and ethical underpins all the work we do as public servants.

If you are:

  • naturally curious
  • understand that success is achieved through working with others in a way that builds great teams
  • are energised by learning and sharing knowledge
  • have a focus on results and learning from both your failures and achievements
  • have an affinity with design thinking
  • are passionate about gaining more skills and helping others do the same
  • have a problem-solving approach
  • are energised by challenges.

We also actively seek:

Science communication skills – the ability to communicate scientific concepts to people without a science background, or a prior understanding of the subject matter, in a way that is meaningful to them, without compromising the accuracy of scientific concepts or findings.

Te Ao Māori applied perspectives - an understanding of the place of The Treaty within the New Zealand context, including as a public servant.

We're looking for someone who demonstrates an ability to apply Māori worldviews in a way that makes a meaningful difference to policy advice, partnerships, and relationships with others in general.

We’re also looking for depth – an appreciation of the relationship between the Crown and iwi/Māori.

Interacting with the public and stakeholders (including implementation, on the ground change management) - we aim to recruit people who enjoy interacting with the public and stakeholders, who are effective communicators and relationship builders.

While this skill is valuable in a range of contexts, note the specific emphasis on engaging with people outside central government, from different backgrounds, with different interests, priorities and ideas.

Great interactions with the public and stakeholders outside MfE will:

  • Inform better policy advice (Policy Plus)
  • Identify opportunities for partnerships, or to support action by others (Partnering with Purpose)
  • Support implementation of government policies – ensuring the underlying intent of policies is understood and translates into action

Looking for skills required to lead sometimes challenging interactions with the public and stakeholders, including people unfamiliar with the machinery of government or technical subjects, or who may hold opposing views. And, just as importantly, an ability to listen and understand a person’s context and needs, to probe for insight and make someone feel heard. A person with these skills will be comfortable in situations like public meetings or helping a council officer or resource user to understand how they would be required to apply a central government policy. An emotionally resilient person who thrives on interacting with others, who creates understanding through effective communication.

Learning agility - the two guiding concepts of our strategy are Policy Plus and Partnering with Purpose.

At their heart, they involve looking for different ways of achieving environmental outcomes or cracking complex problems. This requires a workforce that brings different skills – and is willing to learn new ways of doing things.

Learning agility isn’t about deepening existing skills, or applying an existing skill to a different subject. These attributes are valuable, but we’re looking for more. The emphasis here is on a person’s ability to adapt and apply themselves to something entirely new – a different type of task or way of operating – enthusiastically, quickly and effectively.

We are looking for team players ready to do what’s needed to get results; someone who is open to change, and learning to help the team succeed.

Experience we look for in our senior policy and senior analyst roles:

  • a proven ability to lead significant pieces of complex policy work, including planning, commissioning work and reviewing advice from team members.
  • an innate drive to help others succeed; sharing your expertise and wisdom to build confidence, competence and capability in others.
  • a strategic view and the ability to generate innovative and sustainable solutions through working with others.
  • politically astute with excellent relationship management skills, enabling you to influence and align stakeholders with often divergent views to achieve outcomes that position us to achieve our aim of making Aoteoroa New Zealand the most liveable place in the world.

Experience we seek for our policy analyst and analyst roles:

  • a proven ability to take responsibility for pieces of work, to distil clarity out of ambiguity, and to manage time and competing priorities effectively.
  • a strategic view, the ability to make links and to generate innovative and sustainable solutions.
  • excellent written and oral communication skills and the confidence to build and maintain purposeful stakeholder relationships.

From an academic and knowledge perspective, policy and analyst candidates will ideally have:

  • an academic qualification in planning, public policy, law, economics, or environmental and social sciences.
  • a general understanding and literacy in environmental science.
  • relevant experience working in central government, local government or the private sector.
  • an understanding of the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi, Te Ao Māori and engaging with Māori/iwi.

Benefits of working here include:

  • flexible working practices: most of our people work flexibly.
  • extended parental leave of up to two years. We also offer the ability to phase your return to work with reduced working hours for the first three months.
  • four weeks leave a year, plus three days to be taken between the statutory days from 25 December to 2 January.
  • an inclusive culture. Our networks include a waiata group, women’s network and rainbow network.
  • training to competently and effectively engage with Māori as our Treaty Partner, this includes te reo me ona tikanga Māori courses
  • we encourage you to build mastery in your current role and support your next career move.