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Careers at the Ministry
Our people are diplomats, negotiators, analysts, advisers, and specialists, and together we contribute solutions to global challenges, and help our country and region towards improved prosperity, resilience and security.
Relationships are at the heart of what we do and because of this our people are our most valued resource. We’re big on professional development and this includes cultivating talent to become our future leaders. Our staff work here in New Zealand and in 58 posts, in 51 countries around the world.
Who are we looking for?
Our people represent New Zealand on and offshore, and in doing so reflect our history, culture and values. Matauranga and te reo Māori are at the heart of our country, and central to our work and that of the wider public service. These elements are part of who we are and what makes us unique.
We want our people to represent the variety of interests and viewpoints of everyday New Zealanders. So, we’re interested in things that people might not ordinarily include in a job application, for example, involvement in community groups, representation on boards of trustees, learning other languages, and volunteer work.
We’re looking for people who can:
- analyse information and make everyday decisions that match our priorities and values
- demonstrate strong research and analysis skills
- convey information and communicate ideas clearly
- build relationships, work collaboratively and develop others
- understand their strengths as well as limitations, their values and aspirations
- manage personal workloads effectively and deliver the results required
- demonstrate commitment to their organisation's values, goals, policies and procedures in all aspects of work.
We require our people to:
- hold New Zealand citizenship, although New Zealand permanent residency may be sufficient for some roles
- be able to obtain and maintain an appropriate security clearance
- have obtained a relevant tertiary qualification.
Diversity and inclusion
MFAT values diverse thinking, people and skills. We recognise that diversity allows us to be more innovative in the way we think and act, enhancing the quality of our advice and services.
We aim to reflect the diversity of New Zealand and the countries in which we are present. That's why we’re working actively to grow the diversity of our workforce and the inclusive nature of our workplace.
We have a comprehensive diversity and inclusion strategy and work programme. Click on our diversity and inclusion page to see some of the things we are doing.
Foreign policy careers
Our foreign policy officers support the government in making decisions that affect New Zealand’s foreign affairs and trade with the rest of the world. This includes contributing to policy recommendations, analysing trends in international, political, trade and economic development, and helping to implement policy. The work varies depending on the division, but usually includes a combination of researching, preparing communications with different stakeholders, supporting activities such as official visits, conferences and briefings, and taking part in agency, regional and international meetings.
As a foreign policy officer, you'll have the opportunity to apply your knowledge, skill and expertise in a range of roles in Wellington and offshore at one of our embassies, high commissions, missions or consulates.
Pacific and development careers
The Pacific and Development Group provides policy advice and manages the New Zealand Aid Programme. We aim to reduce poverty and to contribute to a more secure, equitable and prosperous world. We place high priority on achieving results for and with our partners, and on transparency and accountability. The work varies depending on the division and team, but usually includes leading and managing activities including appraisal and monitoring, contract management, contributing to policy reform and the development of programme or country strategies, and relationship management with a range of partners.
Our development officers are interested in international development or humanitarian action and appreciate the principles of development effectiveness, including programme and budget management.
We also recruit specialists in human resources, finance, asset management, security, audit and risk, diplomatic protocol, media, communications, information management and technology, consular services and general administration. We also employ specialist advisers including lawyers, trade specialists and economists who require in-depth technical expertise in their relevant area.
We place high importance on managing people and our resources. Our leaders play a vital role in helping their team members to understand and relate to where our organisation is heading, the engagement of their team, embedding our values, aligning what we do with our strategic framework, and building and sustaining our culture.
We occasionally recruit for interns to work over the summer in Wellington. These opportunities are advertised on our Vacancies page.
It is also possible to work for one of our embassies, high commissions, missions, or consulates as a locally employed staff member (LES). LES are employed on local terms and conditions in the associated country. These are advertised on our Vacancies page.
Security clearances and citizenship
We work with information that’s protected because it’s important to New Zealand’s national interests and security. This means that obtaining and maintaining national security clearance is a condition of employment.
New Zealand Citizenship is also required for positions which are able to be posted overseas (e.g. foreign policy officer, some development positions). Citizenship requirements are listed in each position description.