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Team Manager Virology Plant Health and Environment Laboratory

Ministry for Primary Industries
Job Category:
Science and Environment
Job Type:
Posted Date:
Closing Date:
File Attachment:
Virology Team Manager.pdf (PDF, 202KB)
Job Specification

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Job Description


About New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries:

Our vision is New Zealand will be the world's most sustainable provider of high-value food and primary products. We aim to do this by having our primary sector thriving in a way that benefits all New Zealanders, increases sustainable resource use, and protects New Zealand from biological risk.


About The Plant Health & Environment Laboratory (PHEL):
The Plant Health & Environment Laboratory is part of MPIs Diagnostic and Surveillance Services directorate (DSS). PHEL is the national reference laboratory for the identification of all suspected exotic, new and emerging pests and diseases, and arthropod pests affecting plants, the environment and human health. PHEL also provide diagnostic services to New Zealand's primary industries to facilitate trade. The laboratory is accredited to ISO17025 and the use of a quality assurance system is an integral part of our operations. These activities enable the management of risks associated with traded plants and plant products and maximise the opportunities to respond to biosecurity risks in New Zealand.


About Position:
We have a vacancy for a highly talented and experienced Plant Virology Manager to lead a team of eight. In this role you will work closely with the other laboratory managers in Entomology, Mycology and Bacteriology and Post Entry Quarantine & Botany.


The scope of the work includes leading the virology diagnostic work programme for the identification of viruses and virus-like diseases associated with imported and exported plants, and found post border, for example during surveillance, incursion investigation and response. You will also be expected to contribute to the laboratory's strategic objectives and projects.


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.


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 with opportunities to work nationally and internationally with other scientific organizations. You will be working with a diverse range of stakeholders, including industry representatives, and sometimes in pressure situations, meaning your communication and negotiation skills will be second to none.


Key Selection Criteria Include:

  • Minimum of a post-graduate university qualification (preferable doctoral) related to plant virology
  • A strong knowledge of plant virus and virus-like diseases and molecular biology is essential
  • A good knowledge of high through-put sequencing technologies is desirable
  • Proven experience of managing and developing highly-qualified scientific staff and in leading a high performing team.
  • Expert technical knowledge and broad experience of managing laboratory diagnostic programmes and processes.
  • Expert operational management skills
  • Proven leadership skills
  • Excellent communication and written skills
  • Experience of budget management


How to Apply

To view the position description and/or apply for the role please click “APPLY FOR THIS JOB” or visit the MPI Careers Site to submit your Cover Letter and CV. For tracking and reporting purposes, all applications must be submitted through our online careers portal.


For detailed information on this role please refer to the position description or contact


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.


 Applications close 30 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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