Principal Policy Advisers

  • Additional Leave + Wellness Benefit and more!
  • Opportunity to lead impactful work programmes
  • Scenic Waterfront Location, Wellington CBD Queens Wharf / Auckland CBD


He kupu mō mātou Te Manatū Waka | About Ministry of Transport

Te Manatū Waka, Ministry of Transport, is the system leader for the transport sector whether it’s on land, at sea, in the air, or connecting Aotearoa to the world. We are the government’s principal adviser on transport policy, regulation and investment and play a crucial role in ensuring the transport system is working to improve the prosperity for New Zealanders.

At Te Manatū Waka, we pride ourselves on being a small, agile, and friendly Ministry, which maintains a work culture based on our values – Bold, Invested and Collaborative. Our modern offices located in the heart of the waterfront further enhances the Ministry’s working environment.


Ngā whakamārama mō te tūnga | About the opportunity

We have a variety of Principal Policy Adviser opportunities in our System Strategy & Investment Group or the System & Regulatory Design Group.

The System Strategy & Investment Group maintains an overview of transport strategy for New Zealand. They provide high level strategic design and quality, timely and effective policy advice and support for the Ministry and the transport sector.

The System & Regulatory Design Group is the centre of excellence for quality, timely and effective regulatory policy, and evidence based analysis for the Ministry and the transport sector.

The System Governance & Performance Group is responsible for influencing and supporting the performance of the Ministry, and the wider government transport sector. It also leads and advises the Ministry in relation to stakeholder engagement and communications – critical to our being collaborative and influential.

Responsibilities include:  

  • Partnering with the Policy Manager to drive the strategic policy agenda and contributing to the development and implementation of the strategy for the team
  • Developing, testing, and implementing new ideas and policy frameworks that support the provision of forward focused expert advice.
  • Providing policy advice and leading, shaping, and managing key policy projects and projects teams in risky, complex, ambiguous or sensitive policy areas
  • Providing thought leadership to inform, drive and challenge Ministry thinking and support policy recommendations
  • Enhancing the overall capability of the team through coaching and mentoring team members during their day to day work, and against their longer term development plans
  • Taking a leadership role in cross-Ministry and cross-government policy projects and appropriately representing Group or Ministry views


Te wāhi ki a koe | What you’ll bring

While extensive policy development experience is a must, you may have skills and experiences in:

  • Experience in project management
  • Track record in leading, coaching and mentoring staff
  • Extensive experience in building high-quality stakeholder relationships
  • Well connected/ networked in their specialist area, commanding respect for their knowledge and ability
  • Proven written and verbal communication, with strong influencing skills
  • Excellent organisational skills and the ability to meet deadlines
  • Strong intellectual ability, nous and judgement
  • A tertiary qualification in a relevant field


Te wāhi ki a mātou | What we offer

  • Supportive and flexible work environment, individual development plans,
  • Additional Ministry leave days
  • A range of health and wellbeing benefits including wellbeing days and annual wellness payment
  • Laptop, mobile and WFH equipment
  • Offices discreetly located right on the wharf with collaborative working spaces, showers, storage for bicycles/scooters and personal lockers
  • A welcoming employee network such as the Māori and Pasifika, Wāhine, and Rainbow networks as well as the PSA and Eco Groups

We encourage applications from people from all backgrounds, orientations and identities. We aim to have a Ministry that represents the wider Aotearoa that we serve. We champion diversity, inclusion and wellbeing and aim to create a workplace where everyone feels relevant, valued, supported and a sense of belonging.

For any support or accessibility needs during our recruitment process, please contact us at


Whānuitanga Utu ā-Tau | Salary range

The salary range for the roles is $119,438 – $144,520. The salary offered will be based on skills and experience.


Me pēhea te tono mai | How to apply

To view the job description or apply online including a cover letter and CV click Apply.

We will be screening and interviewing suitable candidates throughout the advertising period.

For further information or to speak confidentially, please contact the Te Manatu Waka Recruitment Team at

Please note unsolicited CVs from recruitment agencies will not be accepted.

Apply now

Permanent – Full time , Fixed term – Full time

Job no: EQAL31039

Location: Wellington, Auckland

Closing Date: Friday, 16 June 2023