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Principal Advisor, Science, Putaiao Science Team

Job ID: 161230
Department: Strategy & Science
Location: Whakatane/Tauranga
Posted: May 13, 2024


Thriving together - mō te taiao, mō ngā tāngata.
Our environment and our people go hand-in-hand.

We believe that accessible, relevant, and trusted science is the foundation for sustainable decision making. We’re looking for an experienced scientist to join our skilled and collaborative strategy and science team as Principal Advisor, Science. This is an exciting opportunity to influence Council decisions, and work alongside partner organisations and our communities to apply science learnings to protect and improve our environment for future generations. As part of this role, we’re looking for a thought leader who can identify opportunities to improve delivery on our core business.  

Te āhuatunga a te tūranga | About the role

This is a senior role and fills an important niche in our team. As Principal Advisor, Science, you will provide specialist science advice and support across several disciplines for the effective management of the natural and physical resources within the Bay of Plenty (particularly as it relates to water). This includes working across Council teams, with a high level of involvement with government and crown agencies, universities, and the wider community including iwi and hapū across the rohe.

An integral part of the Science team, this role will provide expert support, advice, and guidance directly to our team of passionate scientists. You will be responsible for updating the Council’s Science Plan (Mahere Taiao 2020-2023) and coordination of the science projects workload, providing direction to Council ensuring our programmes and priorities remain current and relevant.  You will also manage peer review of science information, and oversight of state of the environment reporting. 

Additionally, you will also:

  • Manage the design, implementation, budgeting, reporting, and monitoring of a wide variety of complex and environmental investigation projects.
  • Offer effective leadership and guidance to the wider Science team.
  • Support embedding Mātauranga Māori within our science programmes.
  • Maintain an extensive professional knowledge of relevant discipline, current trends and relevant legislation.
  • Maintain close working relationships across the rohe with partner organisations.

You will be part of the science leadership team who will support and encourage you to help deliver your tasks in collaborative working environment.  

Ō pūmanawa | Your skills and experience

You will be a thought leader who can identify opportunities to improve delivery on our core business. Along with adaptability, initiative, and a genuine interest in good environmental practices, you will also have:

  • A relevant Bachelor’s degree and 10+ years of relevant technical experience.
  • A minimum of 5 years’ experience in managing community engagement with your work, taking technical information, and bringing it to life for our community.
  • Strong leadership skills and an affinity to coach staff to lift Council capability.
  • Excellent report writing and communication skills.
  • The ability to present complex technical issues simply, clearly and concisely to council and public.

Ko wai mātou | Who we are

Kaimahi at heart - we are a values-driven organisation, that really cares about our people. We want Toi Moana to be a place where you bring your whole self to work.  Who you are is important to us and we welcome and celebrate diversity as an opportunity to grow our teams and are keen to support people of all gender identities, ages, ethnicities, sexual orientations, religions, and abilities.

Toi Moana Bay of Plenty Regional Council is responsible for land, air and water as well as public transport and economic development. A major focus of our work involves looking after the environment. We manage the effects of people’s use of freshwater, land, air and coastal water. However, we also have a broader responsibility with others for the economic, social and cultural well-being of the regional community.

Highlights of working with us include:

  • A supportive and collaborative work environment.
  • Varied and challenging work.
  • Flexibility with the way you work. 
  • A commitment to supporting you to grow and develop.
  • A competitive remuneration and leave package, including additional paid leave over Christmas/New Year, employer paid insurance, well-being initiatives.  

This role can be located at either of our offices in Tauranga or Whakatāne. We have a culture of flexible working (where practicable), which includes being able to work varied hours or from home at times, to ensure a healthy work/life balance is met.

Me pēhea te tuku tono  | How to Apply

Click APPLY NOW or for more information please contact Rob Donald, Science Manager at 

To access a copy of Te Tūranga Mahi (Job Description) please click on the following link or copy and paste it into your web browser:

NB: To apply for this job, you must have the legal right to be able to work in New Zealand and also a current, valid driver's licence. As this position is designated as being “safety sensitive”, the successful candidate will be asked to undergo a pre-employment drug and alcohol check as part of the recruitment.

Please note applications may be reviewed as they are received, and applicants may be contacted prior to the closing date. Please be prepared to reference publications or completion of recent science communication outputs where asked in the application form. 

Applications close 5pm Sunday 9 June, 2024 and will only be accepted online.