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Principal Advisor (Permanent)

Ministry of Social Development
Job Category:
Policy & analysis
Wellington - Wellington
Wellington - Wairarapa
Job Type:
Ongoing - Full Time
Posted Date:
Closing Date:
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Employer Website:

Job Description

Principal Advisor
Ministry of Social Development
Permanent, full time


We are looking for a new Principal Advisor.


We're involved in key projects across MSD, including work on child poverty reduction, child wellbeing and investing for social wellbeing. An overview of the team's role and specialties is set out below.

To succeed in the role, you'll need deep applied policy and analytical experience. You'll also have ability to add value across multiple issues and projects of different kinds, including the ability to generate think-pieces on issues of strategic significance for MSD.

While leading some projects, a big part of our work is supporting or influencing projects run by others. As such, strong relationship management, communication and influencing skills are a must.

Initially, the role is likely to focus on strengthening the interface between MSD's social outcomes modelling and MSD's investment approach and investment strategies. Extracting full value from the modelling – now entering a new phase – is critical to MSD making the best possible decisions and, in turn, achieving the best possible social outcomes from its work.

Amongst our functions, the team leads the design of MSD's approach to investing for social wellbeing – hence the importance of a very strong nexus with the modelling work conducted by the Actuarial team.

Applications for this role are open to 20 June 2018




Our team

Strategic Issues & Investment


Our reason-for-being

Provide specialist and strategic advice to enhance MSD's decisions and investments – now and for the future


Our specialities  

  • Using specialist knowledge to lead or support work of high significance to NZ's social outcomes
  • Addressing issues of enduring social concern or characterised by significant complexity or risk
  • Understanding the state and determinants of social outcomes
  • Leading the design of MSD's approach to social investment
  • Leading or supporting the development of robust investment priorities for MSD
  • Identifying system improvements to enhance future social outcomes
  • Lifting MSD's analytical capability through knowledge sharing, critical review and mentoring


We aim to be known for  

  • Leveraging extensive institutional knowledge, subject-matter expertise and wide networks
  • Being influential with our thinking and contributions, including at Minister and LT level
  • Leading by example in the integration of evidence, analysis and knowledge to enhance decisions
  • Picking up on emerging issues and trends that give rise to significant opportunities or risks
  • Collaborating with all the right people, including sharing information, knowledge and expertise
  • Promoting debate and constructively challenging ideas, analysis and options
  • Communicating in skilful ways, including speciality in distilling complex issues and information


How to Apply


Please apply online with your CV and cover letter. Your cover letter will be a key part of our assessment process, so please highlight how your experience and capability relates to the competencies listed in the position description.


Current MSD Employees – please apply through your myHR portal at work.  This will ensure that your myHR employee profile is visible as an internal candidate.


All applications must be made online. If this is not possible or if you have any further questions about the role please contact us via email at


Job ID: 23894

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