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Senior Policy Advisor

Job No: 110674
Location: Whanganui

  • Excellent opportunity for an experienced Senior Policy Advisor with an innovative local council!
  • Play a key role in shaping the future of a thriving multicultural community!
  • Competitive remuneration circa $80,000 - $95,000, plus generous relocation assistance for international candidates!

About Whanganui and the District Council

Whanganui District Council provides services for the approximately 45,000 residents of the Whanganui District area, located on the south-west coast of the North Island of New Zealand. They are committed to protecting and preserving their exceptional heritage and beautiful environment, whilst working with the community to drive significant social and economic growth.

In 2014 Council established Whanganui and Partners, which is a council controlled organisation that acts as the economic development agency for the district. Together they plan to continue their work on making the district an innovative, progressive, and culturally diverse place for both current and future residents.

Whanganui is perfectly situated for the best of both worlds - only a 2 ½ hour drive north from New Zealand’s buzzing capital city Wellington, an hour flight from Auckland, or an hour and a half drive from stunning Mount Ruapehu and Mount Tongariro. Surrounded by mountains, a beautiful natural landscape, dramatic west coast beaches and unspoilt native bush for tramping and wilderness trips, you won't be lost for things to do in this vibrant community.

To read more about Council and their future vision, click here.

For more information about life in Whanganui, visit the Council website here.

About the Opportunity

Due to recent growth, Whanganui District Council now has an opportunity for a Senior Policy Advisor to join their team on a full-time basis. 

Reporting to the Policy and Governance Manager, this position will see you providing senior level policy analysis and advice to Council on strategic, organisational, and community issues. Whilst you will not have any direct reports, you will be providing mentorship and support to the Policy Advisor (Research and Engagement) and Policy Analyst (Legislative and Performance Management).

Some of your key responsibilities will include (but not be limited to):

  • Undertaking complex evidence-based research projects and presenting sound recommendations along with the findings;
  • Organising regular team meetings, preparing monthly reports, and reviewing team reports for Council meetings;
  • Monitoring, reviewing, and assisting in the development of strategies or policies for Council and community visions;
  • Providing strategic advice, policy analysis, and project management on often complex social, economic, cultural, environmental and corporate issues;
  • Developing and maintaining collaborative relationships with other agencies and organisations to achieve the community's strategic direction; and
  • Proactively developing initiatives to ensure that Whanganui District Council leads best practice and that regional relationships are strengthened.

For more information and the full list of responsibilities, please view the position description.

Further information or any questions relating to the role can be directed to Stephanie Macdonald-Rose on +64 6 349 3215 or

About You

Whanganui District Council is seeking someone with a tertiary qualification in Public Policy, Planning, Social Science, Law, Sociology or any other discipline with transferable skills, along with demonstrated qualitative and quantitative research skills and experience with larger scale project work.

You will need an in-depth knowledge of the Local Government Act, or experience with similar legislation overseas and a willingness to learn.

Familiarity with the local government environment will be highly regarded, as will any experience in a supervisory position or a senior organisational level. You will have or be able to obtain a working knowledge of the local protocols for liaising with Iwi, and have an awareness of the local political climate and culture.

Exceptional communication and interpersonal skills will be pivotal to your success in this position. This includes high emotional intelligence and the ability to develop strong relationships with internal and external stakeholders of all levels and all walks of life. You will need to be an articulate and confident presenter, and able to form clear arguments, supported by your high-level problem solving skills and attention to detail.

About the Benefits

This is a fantastic opportunity to join a passionate team who are committed to improving an already vibrant and innovative community. 

In return for your hard work and dedication, you will receive an attractive base salary of $80,000 - $95,000, commensurate with your level of experience. Council is also offering significant relocation assistance, with up to $10,000 towards flights, freight and initial settlement costs for candidates from Australia, Asia, or the Pacific, and up to $15,000 to candidates from elsewhere in the world!

If applying from overseas, negotiable accommodation assistance and the use of a rental car can be provided in the first two weeks of your arrival, to further assist with your transition. NZ Citizens will further benefit from Kiwisaver entitlements.

Council encourages its staff to enhance their capabilities and achieve high levels of performance, as such ongoing personal and professional development and opportunities for career development will be provided!

Whanganui is a vibrant, tight-knit community, and residents enjoy affordable housing, beautiful architecture, and an abundance of outdoor activities. You can enjoy the best of both worlds, living a short distance from larger cities like Wellington, whilst benefiting from the lack of traffic and easy access to ski slopes, beaches, and great fishing locations.

If you're ready to tackle a new challenge in a stunning location, with a forward-thinking Council - Apply Now!

Application Form

Apply now for this role by completing the first round interview questions below in your own words, and clicking the 'Next' button at the bottom of the page.

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