We represent New Zealand on the world stage, and working with MFAT means becoming part of New Zealand’s influence and standing internationally.

Careers at MFAT

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 57 posts, in 50 countries around the world.

Who are we looking for?

We’re looking for people who are able to:

  • analyse information and make everyday decisions that match our priorities and values
  • convey information and communicate ideas clearly
  • build relationships, work collaboratively and develop others
  • understand their own strengths as well as limitations, their values and aspirations
  • manage personal workloads effectively and deliver the results required.

Diversity at MFAT

MFAT places strong emphasis on fostering a diverse workplace and an inclusive culture. The Ministry is committed to providing equal employment opportunities and an environment  that respects and reflects the diversity of New Zealand and its society.

MFAT supports its staff networks, and acknowledges the important role these networks play in fostering an inclusive and supportive work environment. Our staff networks include: Te Pou Māori, Pacific Island Network, Ethnic Network, Women’s Network, and the Rainbow Network.

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 will have the opportunity to apply your knowledge, skill and expertise in a range of different roles in Wellington and offshore at one of our embassies, high commissions, missions or consulates. 

Requirements:

The specific skills we’re seeking for these roles are included as part of the position descriptions in the advertised vacancies. As a general rule, however, it’s advantageous to have:

  • a post-graduate degree in an analytical subject such as law, political science, international relations, economics or science 
  • some experience or an interest in developing and delivering policy
  • proficiency in languages, especially Korean, Mandarin, Arabic and Japanese 
  • an understanding of tikanga Māori.

We typically recruit for Foreign Policy Officers once a year for roles to start in January/February. Advertising normally begins in the second half of the calendar year, although this may vary depending on business need.

See our vacancies

International development

The International 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.

Requirements:

  • a relevant tertiary qualification from a range of disciplines (e.g. Arts, Humanities, Development Studies, Science and Economics) or equivalent experience
  • be able to demonstrate strong research and analysis skills
  • a strong interest in international development or humanitarian action and an appreciation of the principles of development effectiveness
  • financially savvy
  • an understanding of tikanga Māori

See our vacancies

Specialists

MFAT also recruits 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. 

See our vacancies

Leadership

MFAT places 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 MFAT culture.

See our vacancies

Other opportunities

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.

See our vacancies

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 (eg foreign policy officer, some development positions). Citizenship requirements are listed in each position description.

Find out more about security clearances