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Departmental Science Adviser

Ministry for Primary Industries
Job Category:
Science and Environment
Wellington City
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Job Description

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is seeking an exceptional thought leader from the science community for the position of Departmental Science Adviser (DSA).  The successful applicant will be influential in enhancing MPI's reputation as a significant contributor to the growth and protection of New Zealand through the application of science for policy, risk management decision-making and primary sector innovation.


MPI has four outcomes:

  • Growth: New Zealand's food and primary sector grows the value of its exports
  • Sustainability: New Zealand's natural resources are sustainable in the primary sector
  • Protection: New Zealand is protected from biological risk and our products are safe for all consumers
  • Participation: New Zealanders participate in the success of the primary industries


These areas are essential to the ongoing success of our primary industries and rely on the application of fit-for-purpose science across all sectors.


You will provide MPI with oversight of its science processes and science engagement.  This will include the quality of science conducted or purchased by MPI, the relationships with the national and international science community, and the quality of scientific advice. They will also have a key role in championing implementation of the MPI Science Strategy and the Primary Sector Science Roadmap.


The DSA role will be a fixed-term full or part time (at least 0.5 FTE) appointment for three years with the possibility of extension. The preference is for a part time arrangement, which would enable the DSA to continue a connection to their current employer. The DSA will have a direct reporting line to the Director General and be a member of the senior leadership team. DSA advice and influence will extend to all levels of MPI and intersect with the New Zealand Science system. The DSA will be expected to work closely with the Prime Minister's Chief Science Adviser and other DSA roles across government.


The successful applicant will:

  • be an accomplished and well-respected leader in science and innovation;
  • have a strong and broad understanding of the primary sector and the science required to support MPI's broad range of responsibilities;
  • understand government processes and the role of science and science innovation in informing policy and regulatory systems;
  • understand the challenges of research prioritisation, delivery, quality assurance, and knowledge/technology transfer and uptake;
  • be an excellent communicator with strong interpersonal skills;
  • have the ability to think strategically and take a broad system view;
  • be able to effectively manage potential conflicts of interest; and
  • have strong connections to the New Zealand and international science community.


To apply and/or read the position description please click on “APPLY NOW” to be directed to our website.  Please attach your CV and cover letter.


If you have any questions about the role, please contact Emma Bateman, Recruitment Adviser for a confidential discussion on 04 819 4656 or email


Applications Close: 15 September 2017

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