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Principal Advisor Operational Epidemiology

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

Principal Advisor Operational Epidemiology – 2 Year Fixed Term

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) provides a range of services to ensure New Zealand is protected from biological risk, the food New Zealand businesses produce is safe and suitable for us all to consume, and our natural resources are sustainable!

In July 2017, the bacterial infection Mycoplasma Bovis was found in cattle in the Oamaru area of the South Island. With the support of farmers, industry bodies and local communities, MPI is working hard to locate the disease, contain it and eradicate it from New Zealand. 

We have established a new directorate specifically to support M.bovis eradication. The purpose of the directorate is to sustain the intensity of work over a longer term, and allow the response to transition to a core service delivery model that can be managed in a sustainable way. 

The role of Principal Advisor Operational Epidemiology is to provide operational epidemiology expertise for the M.Bovis directorate.

As Principal Advisor Operational Epidemiology you will provide advice to operational teams within the directorate and written technical justification for operational activities and decisions. You will work closely with the strategic epidemiology advisor on data quality, data collection and the interpretation of collected information, ensuring that the science delivered is fit for purpose. Finally, you will be responsible for delivering findings to the Strategic Science Advisory Group (SSAG), Chairman of the SAG, the Director of the M.Bovis Directorate, key stakeholders and governance as required.

Do you have what it takes to be successful in this role?  Can you demonstrate the following expertise, skills and qualifications?

  • Veterinary undergraduate degree and post graduate qualification in veterinary epidemiology
  • MANZCVS or equivalent
  • Knowledge of/experience with animal health surveillance system development and/or management
  • Data management, integration and analysis skills
  • Knowledge of/experience with disease spread modelling
  • Working knowledge of the cattle industry
  • Experience communicating to a wide range of audiences e.g. farmers, stakeholders, and technical experts
  • Advanced written and oral communication and presentation skills
  • Project planning and management skills
  • Computer literacy particularly in MS suite including Microsoft Excel and Access and statistical packages


  • Emergency response training or experience
  • Experience working in a compliance role

At MPI we are open to requests for flexible working on hiring. Please talk to us at interview about the flexibility you need and we will explore what's possible for the role.

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

To arrange a confidential discussion about the role, please contact Hana Zawodny on or 04 830 1534.

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.

The successful applicant must be able to obtain the relevant security clearance. Please visit for more information.

Applications for this role close on 22 November 2018.

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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