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Manager Adaptive Farming & Communities

Ministry for Primary Industries
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Wellington City
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Job Description

  • Are you keen to help New Zealand adapt to the future of farming and support the transition to sustainable and productive practices?
  • Are you looking to apply your leadership skills to provide overall strategic oversight and work with a team on an ambitious, high-profile work programme?
  • We are looking for a gifted manager with a knack for turning policy direction into systems and processes that make a difference.

About MPI

The Ministry for Primary Industries is focused on ensuring New Zealand is the most trusted source of high value natural products in the world.

To achieve this, we're working to promote an adaptive and environmentally responsible primary sector, grow prosperity through insight and innovation, and continuously increase our capability to protect New Zealand from biological risks. 

The Policy & Trade Branch provides strategic thinking, policy advice and analysis, negotiates market access arrangements and oversees international government-to-government relationships, to maximise export opportunities across New Zealand's primary sector and inform decisions.    

About the team

The Ministry for Primary Industries is leading a significant amount of change within the primary sector.  We are committed to deliver high profile work programmes that aim to support productive, sustainable land use. The new Primary Sectors Future Directorate has been set up to lead work on sector strategy and policy advice on how we support this transition. The new directorate brings together work on the future vision for the primary sector with some of the key levers to influence system change to get there. In particular, the directorate will provide policy focal point for land-based systems change in the Branch. 

The Adaptive Farming and Communities Policy team brings together work on policy and interventions to support change on farms. Work programmes include farm systems change research, policy to design extension services, and the development of a national framework for integrated farm planning that unlocks efficiency gains and creates pathways for continual improvement of on-farm performance.

This team works closely with other policy teams and the teams within the Agriculture and Investment Services Branch to develop and implement cross-MPI systems and engage with industry stakeholders.

About the role

Reporting to the Director of the Primary Sector Futures Directorate, your team is responsible for providing policy advice to the Ministry's Senior Leadership Team, the Minister of Agriculture and other relevant Ministers on the primary sector and agricultural system and its needs to adapt as New Zealand transitions to a low emissions, high-value productive economy based on sustainable land-use.

Your team will develop systems, frameworks and interventions to support sustainable resource use and provide guidance for the development of high-impact programmes supported by government and industry. You will deliver policy and system advice that ensures high-level policy direction is brought to life in the real world and makes a difference.

You will provide support and input on work across the branch and/or other parts of MPI and externally and work closely within and beyond MPI and engage with iwi and stakeholders including industry representatives. You will be working with a diverse range of stakeholders, sometimes in pressure situations, meaning your communication and negotiation skills will be second to none.

Above all you will be an approachable leader who can quickly establish rapport with your team. You will also be a member of a dynamic leadership team that takes pride in its people and the results they deliver together.

Seize this opportunity to strengthen your deliberate approach to people leadership and enjoy a real breadth of work. 

Find out more about policy at MPI - visit our policy live site

What we are looking for

  • Proven experience in managing and developing staff
  • Demonstrated experience in developing and implementing support systems within teams to manage administration, finances, personnel, planning and other basic functions
  • Experience within government or related organisations including experience with government policy and regulatory processes
  • Experience in analysing technical issues and making business decisions with financial impact
  • A deep understanding and experience in the environmental, economic, social and cultural considerations within resource management
  • Appreciation of the Ministry's business environment, its strategic priorities, strengths and weaknesses
  • Proven experience in developing operational policy and service design
  • Skilled stakeholder engagement and ability to relate with a wide range of people

How / why to apply?

Our work stretches all the way from the Beehive, across farms, to the border. If you want a career in a supportive and hard-working team where you help to grow and protect New Zealand in a very real way then this is it. MPI has a focus on career pathways so this is the first step in your career with us and we will help you grow.

See the benefits of working at MPI

To view the position description and apply for the role, please click on “APPLY NOW” in order to be directed to our website.

If you have any questions about this role, please contact Katrina Minx, Senior Recruitment Advisor on 04 831 4908 or

Applications close: 22nd August 2019

The Ministry for Primary Industries is committed to providing a working environment that embraces and values inclusion and diversity. Your unique talents and experience will help us deliver exceptional services to our communities in Aotearoa. In return you'll enjoy an inclusive and flexible working environment in a diverse team of people while you're growing your career here in NZ and internationally. We actively encourage applications from all backgrounds. If you have any support or access requirements, we encourage you to tell us when you apply so that we can assist you through the recruitment process.

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