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Senior Adviser, Pacific Oceans and Fisheries

Date:  17-Mar-2023

Wellington, NZ




  • Flexible working arrangements are supported, in agreement with managers.
  • Work with Pacific Island stakeholders and travel periodically within the region.
  • Wellington based.


This exciting role will see you working with Pacific Island countries on complex policy issues and development projects to tackle the major issues threatening our ocean, such as climate change.


Kōrero mō te tūranga - About the role  


As Senior Adviser, Pacific Ocean and Fisheries, you will play a transformational role providing strategic and policy advice on Pacific oceans related issues. The role contributes significantly to shaping Aotearoa New Zealand’s contribution to the Pacific regional oceans programme, helping to deliver International Development Cooperation and policy initiatives for ocean governance and fisheries management in the Pacific region.


The ‘Blue Pacific Continent’ embodies and frames Pacific identity, and the health of the ocean will do much to determine the region’s future. The Senior Adviser role contributes materially to giving this effect by supporting programmes and institutions dedicated to a healthy Pacific Ocean and improving the resilience and sustainability of the people and nature reliant on the marine environment.


Work in this area includes:


  • Addressing the impacts of climate change on the ocean and realising the mitigation and adaptioan potential offered by the ocean.
  • Supporting the development of robust ocean governance in the region to drive global action.
  • Navigating the complex issue of deep-sea mining to ensure the effective protection of the marine environment.
  • Developing ocean science capacity in the Pacific and promoting scientific collaboration


The Senior Adviser, Pacific Ocean and Fisheries, will play a unique role in New Zealand’s Development and policy initiatives for ocean governance and fisheries management in the Pacific region. 


  • Work with Pacific national and regional agencies on Pacific oceans initiatives identified as priority issues by the region.
  • Stragetically lead on definition and delivery of Pacific oceans and fisheries policy priorities.
  • Contribute to the division’s delivery of its planned and agreed development investments to realise its strategic priorities and high level outcomes.


For more detail you can view a copy of the position description here


The full salary range for this role is min $117,541 midpoint of $138,283 – max $159,025 total remuneration, inclusive of our 3% KiwiSaver employer contribution.

We expect to appoint around the midpoint – depending on your level of experience.  


Mā‎ wai te mahi nei? – Who are we looking for?


We’d like to hear from you if you are an experienced Adviser with the following skills and experience:


  • a strong understanding of Pacific oceans and/or fisheries issues and a clear appreciation of approaches that can sustainably support the ambitions of Pacific partners.
  • understanding of the key challenges facing developing countries and the role that effective development assistance plays in supporting priority issues for the Pacific.  
  • excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • demonstrated coaching and mentoring skills


Ideally you will also have a good understanding of tikanga (Māori customs and protocols), with the ability to weave te ao Māori (the Māori worldview) into your work. 


If you are just starting on this journey that’s OK too – as long as you have a willingness to learn and a desire to develop your cultural capability.  As a Te Tiriti o Waitangi partner, this is important to us and we offer training and support. 


Ngā hua o te mahi i te Manatū Aorere - Why MFAT?


We are committed to a focus on leadership, talent, training and development, and flexible work options.  Check out our benefits page to find out more about why we love working here.


MFAT is Rainbow Tick accredited. We value diversity and are committed to providing an inclusive culture where everyone feels supported, valued, and a sense of belonging.  We welcome applications from people from a diverse range of backgrounds. 

You can find out more about our staff networks and our Diversity and Inclusion Strategy here


Mō mātou - About us


Our people represent New Zealand on and offshore, and in doing so make New Zealanders safer and more prosperous.  By building connections with and influencing other countries and international institutions, we advance New Zealand’s interests and pursue New Zealand's values.  We provide advice to the Government on the implications for New Zealand of what is happening in the world. 


Me pēhea te tuku tono - To Apply/Interested?


Apply today with your CV and cover letter.


For a confidential discussion please call/email Stephen Harris on +64 21 246 1652


To be considered for this position you must be a New Zealand Citizen or Permanent Resident and able to obtain and maintain a NZ Government National Security clearance.


Use this online tool to self-check your eligibility for a Confidential security clearance. Please note that this tool is not part of the formal security clearance process:


Let us know if you need any support or have any access requirements that will help you through the recruitment process.


Applications close at midnight on 2nd April 2023


Please note: This is not a Foreign Policy/diplomatic role.  This is a ‘Corporate’ role (known here as a Specialist role) based in central Wellington, NZ.  


While it is not usual for specialist staff to be ‘posted’ outside of NZ, from time to time a specialist role overseas becomes available at one of our embassies, high commissions, missions or consulates. To be considered for one of these positions you would need to apply and be considered via a competitive recruitment process.


If you do have an interest in an MFAT foreign policy/diplomatic career, you would be welcome to apply for this either via our graduate recruitment or mid-level foreign policy recruitment campaigns.