Chief Legal Advisor

  • Lead a large and diverse legal group.
  • Principal legal advisor to the Chief Executive and Leadership Team.
  • For an organisation providing critical services for New Zealanders.

The Ministry of Social Development Te Manatū Whakahiato Ora helps New Zealanders to be safe, strong and independent. As a Te Tiriti o Waitangi partner, it is committed to supporting and enabling Māori, whānau, hapū and iwi to realise their own potential and aspirations.
The Chief Legal Advisor (CLA) will lead the Ministry’s large legal group, providing strategic direction and leadership of legal issues and/or risks. The CLA will also work closely with the Minister, Chief Executive and Executive Leadership Team as their principal legal advisor.

Reporting to the DCE Organisational Assurance and Communication, the CLA will be the trusted legal advisor and will ensure the Ministry maintains compliance with statutory duties, and will strategically manage all litigation undertaken by external providers.

You will be a qualified barrister and solicitor with a current practising certificate. You must have proven, senior-level leadership experience along with an ability to effectively lead and manage a large, high-performing team. You will be strategic in your thinking and have substantial experience in the field of public and administrative law, and a good understanding of commercial matters and litigation. You will need to have a sound knowledge of laws relevant to the Ministry’s business and an understanding of Treaty obligations and Partnership issues. A Top Secret security clearance will be required for this role.

This is a rare opportunity to lead a large-scale legal group with a hugely diverse range of issues to influence through your intellect and political nous, including supporting policy and legislative development relating to overhaul of the benefit system; supporting the historic abuse claims process and implementing recommendations that come out of the Royal Commission Into Abuse In Care; dealing with Kaupapa Māori claims; and supporting the delivery of MSD’s new strategic direction, Te Pae Tawhiti.
Entry to New Zealand from all countries remains strictly controlled to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. You may only apply for this role if you have the right to work in New Zealand. For information about New Zealand work or residence visas, please visit
APPLICATIONS CLOSE: Friday, 24 September 2021

FURTHER ENQUIRIES: Simon Boyes on 04 550 8000

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