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Principal Adviser Meat / Specialist Adviser Animal Products

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

 The Ministry for Primary Industries is looking for a vibrant high performer to join its Animal Products Group.  This team sets the requirements for the production and processing of animal-based products (usually for food).  It also develops guidance materials and other tools to help businesses meet the requirements and produce safe and suitable food.

We have one role available which has a focus on meat.  Our successful candidate will be appointed as either a Principal Adviser or a Specialist Adviser depending on their qualifications, knowledge and experience.  Our ideal candidate should have a relevant tertiary qualification; veterinary science, food technology, microbiology, or a meat technology background. Having knowledge of MPI processes is desirable. The Principal Adviser and Specialist Adviser would be expected to hit the ground running, with a knowledge-base to be able to look after an animal products sector or specialty area with minimal oversight. 

A Principal Adviser Meat is responsible for the development and maintenance of food safety and suitability standards and implementation tools for the production and processing of animal products.  You will also be liaising and engaging with a number of external and internal stakeholders. As a Principal Adviser you will need to provide intellectual leadership and support for the meat primary sector.  This will include taking the lead at a national and international level in representing MPI and Government.  It will also include providing high quality technical advice to Government and industry. 

A Specialist Adviser Animal Products is responsible for the development, evaluation and review of standards, programmes and implementation tools which are used to control production and processing of animal products so that those products are safe and suitable for their intended use.  This work is technically challenging and requires liaison and coordination with a number of different internal and external stakeholders to ensure that standards are science-based, practical, achievable and effective.  Specialist Advisers would be expected to work with other MPI personnel and to provide expert advice within MPI and to external stakeholders. Specialist Advisers may also be expected to represent New Zealand at national and international fora.

The role is a permanent full time role based in Wellington.  However other options will be considered including a fixed term secondment for 12 months.

The position is in the Food Regulation Directorate within MPI's Regulation and Assurance branch. This branch contains MPI's core regulatory functions for the production and processing of safe and suitable food.  It provides the requisite confidence, transparency and trust to domestic and overseas consumers, overseas regulators and the primary industries as to the credibility, integrity and strength of our regulatory settings and systems for biosecurity, food safety and primary production (including animal welfare).

If you have detailed knowledge around primary processing, would like to join a really solid and positive team, and work at the forefront of an industry-changing turning point, we'd love to hear from you. 

We can offer variety, and unique opportunities to develop your skills within a large and dynamic organisation.

To be successful in either role you should have:


  • a relevant tertiary qualification (e.g. food technology, microbiology, veterinary, meat technology)
  • good relationship management skills
  • flexibility in your approach to new challenges and ideas
  • sound interpersonal skills
  • sound communication skills, both oral and written
  • up to date knowledge of New Zealand's primary production and processing of animals and food
  • knowledge of current trends in the national and international food regulatory environment
  • familiarity with New Zealand's regulatory systems and legislation associated with primary production and processing of animal products and food
  • experience in the identification and consideration of risk management options
  • experience in the development of implementation tools (such as guidance documents and templates) to help implement those standards
  • experience in the development and implementation of regulatory requirements


To be successful as a Principal Adviser you should also have


  • considerable experience in meat processing or a related field
  • highly developed and expert knowledge of food safety
  • experience in building and managing internal and external relationships with an assortment of stakeholders, and gaining the support and participation of key individuals and groups especially at strategic or sector-wide level.


If this sounds like you and you have the motivation and desire to be successful within a strong team of professionals, then we want to hear from you!!

To view the position description and/or apply for the role (submitting a cover letter and current curriculum vitae), please click “APPLY NOW” or visit the MPI Careers Site. For tracking and reporting purposes, all applications must be submitted through our online careers portal.

To apply for this role you must hold the right to work in New Zealand or be eligible to obtain it – click here to find out more about work visa eligibility and options.

In order to be considered for this role, applicants must be available to interview within New Zealand or via Skype.

If you have any questions about the role, you may contact Nick Goddard for a confidential discussion on 04 894 0908 or email

Applications for this role close on Sunday 25 November

MPI is an equal opportunity employer and committed to providing a working environment that embraces and values diversity and inclusion. Your unique talents and experience will help us deliver exceptional services to New Zealand. In return you'll enjoy an inclusive and flexible working environment in a diverse team of people while you're growing your career. We actively encourage applications from any background.

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