Principal Advisor, Policy

You may have heard of Te Waihanga. We’re small (but mighty) and haven’t been around long by government standards. But our job is as big as it gets, helping New Zealand get the right infrastructure, whether it’s transport connections that get us from a to b, water and power connections needed to support affordable homes, or schools and hospitals that support our communities. 

All this is why we need you. 

We’re after an experienced Principal Advisor to play a key role as a member of Te Waihanga’s Policy team. The role is an exciting opportunity to work closely with the Te Waihanga Chief Executive, and to contribute to the Commission’s busy policy work programme. The purpose of the role is to lead programmes of policy advice, to ensure efficient ministerial servicing and support to the Chief Executive in policy discussion and presentations across government and the infrastructure sector. The role resides in the Te Waihanga policy team.  

You will be responsible for:

  • Working as part the policy team, and across other government agencies, leading advice on a range of infrastructure policy.
  • Liaising internally and with the Minister’s office to ensure smooth and effective ministerial servicing.
  • Working closely with the Chief Executive to prepare presentations and briefings to support strategic policy discussions.

 To do this you will have:

  • Knowledge of and experience in public policy, machinery of government and legislative functions and processes. 
  • Track record of working closely with Policy Leaders and/or a Chief Executive, Board and leadership team.
  • Experience working with ministers’ offices and across government agencies on strategic projects, significant challenges and operational matters.
  • An understanding of the policy environment for the infrastructure sector.
  • A Bachelor’s degree in a relevant discipline (Commerce/Business, Law, Public Policy etc). A Masters level qualification is desirable. 

You will also be a whizz at things like:

  • Thinking strategically and critically, identifying and responding to new and emerging strategic issues.  
  • Demonstrating outstanding written and verbal communication.
  • Building and maintaining effective relationships, and able to engage with a wide range of stakeholders.
  • Exercising sound judgement based on a mixture of analysis and experience.
  • Understanding Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the Crown’s responsibility to act as a good partner and being willing to engage with Te Ao Māori perspectives and frameworks.
  • Manoeuvring effectively through complex political situations.


Here at Te Waihanga, we offer a great range of benefits to eligible permanent employees including:

  • Flexible working that supports the individual, the team and the organisation
  • Subsidised medical insurance for employees
  • Wellbeing allowance to support healthy living
  • Five weeks annual leave per year
  • Support with learning and continued professional development

Mō te tīma / About our team

Te Waihanga is what’s called an Autonomous Crown Entity or, even better, an ACE. We think about the whole infrastructure system - roads, waterpipes, powerlines, you name it – and our job is to give advice and uncover the insights that can make it all work as well as it can, supporting an Aotearoa that’s great for the generations to come.  

Our people are smart and passionate about this stuff. They’re friendly and, this being a relatively small organisation, it’s easy to work with anyone here and to have an impact. We don’t do hierarchy or stand on ceremony.  

We also value our people, and it’s important to us that you feel welcome, supported, and respected.

Tono mai / How to Apply 

Please take a look at the job description below and get in touch. We’d like to hear from you.  

To apply for this role, please apply below or email

Applications close at 3 April 2023.

Please note that we will start shortlisting as we receive applications so encourage you to apply early.


To be considered for this position you must have a legal right to live and work in New Zealand.

Please note that we may begin shortlisting as we receive applications. We encourage early applications as we may withdraw the advertising at any time.

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