Work for us
We are a small civilian agency that has fewer than 150 people who come from a variety of backgrounds. We believe our small size is an advantage because each person can see the results of their own effort in what we collectively deliver. In this way, every person counts. This contributes to very high levels of engagement – among the highest in the public sector.
The ministry enables Graduates to start working on really interesting and engaging work from the get go
Policy Analyst, Development Branch Georgia
I joined the Ministry as a graduate earlier this year, after finishing my undergraduate study at Victoria University of Wellington, and then a Masters of International Relations at The University of Melbourne. During my study, I completed an internship with an internationally focused NGO, which further developed my interest in international affairs.
I have always been really interested in international affairs and the strategic environment which naturally led to an interest in applying for a role at the Ministry. The Ministry has offered me a chance to get a broad view on New Zealand’s security and international relations.
I really enjoy working with talented people who are passionate about writing robust policy. As a graduate, I was able to start working on really interesting and engaging policy from the get go, as well as getting some great opportunities such as overseas travel. Here at the Ministry, there are some great mentors and colleagues to help entry level candidates develop their skills.
I provide policy advice on major defence capability projects. This includes not only the equipment but also the personnel and other organisational requirements to support the effective operations of the New Zealand Defence Force, and supports New Zealand Defence policy.
It's great to work for the Ministry knowing that it supports the needs of the NZDF capability requirements.
Aquistion Lead, Capability Delivery Beth
I started at the Ministry in July this year. I joined because I want to contribute to the results that the Ministry are going to produce in the near future, as we work together to acquire and enable the capabilities/military equipment needed to realise the Government’s expectations for NZDF.
As a Project Manager in the Capability Delivery Division, it is my job to lead a specific project through all its stages, sometimes right through to benefits realisation. I'm currently working in the civil aviation area and as I have previous experience in that field, I'm thrilled to be able to bring some new skills in to the existing project team. Working as a Project Manager is exciting because it's bringing the written requirements and policy into palpable reality, and I am really looking forward to seeing this in the future.
I enjoy being part of a team knowing that what we do supports the needs of the NZDF capability requirements. This enables the Defence Force to undertake all of its roles and tasks from protecting and supporting New Zealand's interests to providing humanitarian aid and relief during local or international disasters.
I joined the Ministry because of the opportunity to have a significant influence on the way the organisation goes about its work.
Practice Manager, Programmes and Projects Stuart
The Ministry operates some of the largest and most complex capital expenditure projects in Government. My role, working closely with my counterpart from the New Zealand Defence Force, is to develop the best practice standards and skills to support the delivery of these projects.
The relationship between the Ministry and the New Zealand Defence Force to jointly deliver major projects is a unique model, and this presents an opportunity to work in an organisational environment unlikely to be experienced elsewhere.
I joined the Ministry because of the opportunity to have a significant influence on the way the organisation goes about its work, the unique operating environment, the interesting projects, and to work with a team of highly skilled professionals.
I like that my role allows me to engage a diverse variety of issues in order to advance New Zealand’s security interests.
Policy Analyst, Policy Branch Nathalie
As a Policy Analyst in the Policy Branch I work on assessing New Zealand’s future strategic environment and advancing New Zealand’s security interests.
I contribute to range of policy projects, such as the Strategic Defence Policy Statement 2018 and Defence Assessments. My day-to-day involves in-depth research, working closely with the Defence Force and other government agencies, and building connections with our international partners.
I undertook my Master of Strategic Studies at the Australian National University after being awarded the New Zealand Defence Freyberg Scholarship. While in Canberra I worked part-time at the New Zealand High Commission as a Policy Adviser, and I served as the Women’s Officer in ANU’s Postgraduate and Research Student Association (PARSA) where I gained experience working to with the Australian Human Rights Commission and Universities Australia to tackle sexual assault and sexual harassment on campuses. I also have a Bachelor of Laws and Political Science from the University of Canterbury.
This role is a great combination of my work to date and my University education
Senior Analyst, International Branch Jordan
As a Senior Analyst at the Ministry of Defence I am getting to work in an area I’ve been passionate about for years. My Masters thesis focused on defence and security issues and I have continued to follow international security developments throughout my career.
After spending some time working in the international relations field, including an offshore posting, I was excited at the opportunity to join the Ministry and work on Defence issues on a daily basis. Getting to be involved in the day to day development of defence policy and working with a great team to provide the best advice possible to Government is always exciting.
The Ministry's transformation programme has helped me understand ways we can continually evolve our work to make sure it is properly focussed and effective.
Principal Analyst, Ministerial and Executive Services Adrian
Adrian is a principal advisor in the Ministry of Defence. He has experience supporting executive government – with support on the day-to-day activity of Ministers’ Offices, Cabinet decision-making, the machinery of government, and the reporting of government activities and performance.
Adrian has worked in a variety of departments - including the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, the State Services Commission, the Ministry of Health and now the Ministry of Defence. He has also provided temporary support in a range of Ministers’ Offices for the Health, State Services and Defence portfolios.
His career has been focused on supporting the interface where departments work with Ministers to build and deliver on the Government’s work programme, and particularly supporting subject matter experts to understand the needs of their Minister and effectively communicate important and complex solutions to problems facing New Zealanders. This includes supporting the public to understand government policy and activities. This work is mainly delivered through responses to information requests to Ministers and departments, telling the department's story to select committee, and through formal publications such as Statements of Intent and Annual Reports.
In the case of Defence, Adrian’s work involves balancing the vital need to protect national security and commercial information with the need to provide information about the one-third of the government's capital spend going into Defence.
The most rewarding parts of Adrian’s career have been to support those affected by major national disasters - both in relation to Cabinet decision making on the response to the Canterbury Earthquakes and supporting the Ministry of Defence's staff following the loss of our Wellington headquarters from the Kaikoura Earthquake.
Although this is a very small Ministry, it deals with an incredibly diverse range of work.
Head, International Branch Charlotte
I started in the Ministry as one of the Directors in the International Branch after 10+ years at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and postings to Canberra and Washington DC.
The International Branch leads advice and analysis on New Zealand’s deployments, defence relations, and offshore security issues to Ministers, Defence principals and partner agencies. We do this working hand-in-hand with NZDF and MFAT but also other agencies such as DPMC.
The Ministry deals with an incredibly diverse range of work. What I do is really interesting and varied. It often requires ministers to make very difficult decisions. This means our advice needs to be well thought through and carefully constructed. Some highlights have been working on the mandate renewals for the deployment of New Zealand Defence Force personnel.
The Ministry has changed dramatically in the time I’ve been here. That change has been very well managed. Staff are happy and engaged and like their jobs – which makes for a positive environment. The team in International Branch is first-rate. We really focus on working collaboratively and making the most of everyone’s skills and experience, always learning and most importantly, delivering good advice.
The role draws on my experience from earlier careers.
Director Air Domain Neil
I came to be working in the Ministry through an opportunity to contribute to the future shape of Defence for New Zealand with the Ministry’s reorganisation that moved it toward becoming the benchmark for defence capability management.
After a hugely satisfying career in uniform and a subsequent period in industry, for experience and knowledge in the commercial side of the fence, my current role has me directing the major air domain capability projects through to their realisation as capabilities in the New Zealand Defence Force.
The role draws on my experience from earlier careers. I’m working with a great team across the Ministry and Defence Force, and the wider industry sector. The environment within Defence and the industry sector is very dynamic and as the saying goes, there’s never a dull moment!
Through the Ministry's system of rotation I can get valuable experience in other branches.
Intermediate Analyst, International Branch Caleb
I applied for a Policy Analyst role here as I was finishing my Masters Degree. The Ministry of Defence is an organisation that is not afraid to back a graduate and invest in their development.
I’m primarily responsible for contributing to major projects in the land domain, and leading the Ministry’s engagement with certain projects. This includes writing business cases and other documents for projects as they move through the Capability Management Framework.
I enjoy working here because you have a seat at the table in discussions on very important issues for New Zealand’s future defence capabilities. The decisions that are made through projects are anything but simple, and being involved in that thinking is exciting.
I really enjoy working with such an interesting and talented group of people.
Deputy Director, Policy Branch Simon
After a number of years in the New Zealand Army and working for another government department I joined the Ministry of Defence in 2006 as a Principal Advisor Computing and Information Technology. Since then I have worked on wide range projects including command and control systems, frigate self-defence weapons, helicopters, and work force and financial modelling.
I currently work as the Deputy Director Policy Branch providing advice to the Government on a number of challenging policy issues.
I really enjoy working with such an interesting and talented group of people. Much of the work in the Ministry is collaborative, both with the Defence Force and a wide range of other government agencies and stakeholders. It is a great opportunity to develop wide networks and exposure to the machinery of government.
In 2009 I was appointed to the team that worked on the first Defence White paper for 13 years. This work involved reviewing the entire Defence organisation over an 18-month period and presenting options to Government about the future force structure and major capabilities our Defence Force would need to meet the Government’s objectives.
The Ministry also supported me when I did part-time post graduate study, and I continue to serve as a member of the Territorial Force of the New Zealand Army, which has included a seven month operational deployment.