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COVID-19 Team Manager

6-18 month fixed term or secondment opportunity

Have you ever wanted to work at the heart of government, or try your hand at designing and developing New Zealand’s laws? You may want to try out legislative drafting before considering it longer term, or be looking to learn some valuable skills and insights to take back to your usual role. Aspiring managers may want an opportunity to develop their leadership skills at the centre of New Zealand’s most pressing issue.

The PCO is playing a critical and distinctive role in developing and designing legislation to respond to the ever-changing needs of COVID-19. We work closely with government departments, Crown Law, and others to deliver fit-for-purpose legislation at speed.

We are looking to build our team of dedicated COVID-19 legislative drafters, together with a new manager, to ensure that we can continue to provide high quality legislation in a dynamic environment.  In this team, you will work alongside experienced counsel and gain a fascinating insight into the politics, policy development, and legal design behind New Zealand’s COVID-19 response.

We are advertising separately for legislative drafters »    

What we are looking for

For the COVID-19 team manager, we are looking for a proactive people leader who will lead relationships with Ministers and key agencies. You will need an agile and adaptable mindset with the ability to identify and work through challenging issues at speed. You will need to be organised, methodical, and comfortable dealing with multiple workstreams at the same time.  You do not need to have any experience in drafting yourself, but you will need to be very familiar in working with legislation and in the Government context.

All successful applicants will need the ability to work under pressure in a complex and fast changing environment and to be resilient and comfortable with ambiguity.

For more about the role see the job description and person specification below.

What we offer you

A role in this team offers the opportunity to:

  • work on “greenfield” projects which require unique and innovative legal solutions
  • enhance and adjust existing legislation in response to developing situations
  • analyse complex legal issues relating to health policy, emergency legislation, and the Bill of Rights
  • collaborate with and influence some of Government’s top lawyers and policy analysts… and more!

The PCO offers flexible working arrangements to all staff. The PCO is located in Wellington City close to the NZ Parliament buildings and the Wellington railway station.  The office atmosphere is collegial, and the office provides a family-friendly environment with good working conditions. Staff can participate in the office netball team, learn te reo Māori and enjoy regular social club events. Staff also have access to services such as a gymnasium, indoor swimming pool and restaurants.


You may apply for this role only if you have the right to work in New Zealand.

Entry to New Zealand from all countries remains strictly controlled to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.  For information about New Zealand work or residence visas, please visit

Applications will be accepted only if they include a CV and a letter of application.

Those applying for a fixed term position should also fill in an application form.  Please see How to apply for more information. 

Applications close: 5pm Friday 3 December 2021

and should be sent to the recruitment inbox: We are open to expressions of interest for future roles of this nature.

How to apply »

Job description


COVID-19 Parliamentary Counsel (fixed term or secondment)


Parliamentary Counsel Office
Reserve Bank Building
2 The Terrace

Direct reports

COVID-19 Legislative Drafters

Reports to

Deputy Chief Parliamentary Counsel (Drafting)

Liaises with

Parliamentary Counsel

Other PCO staff


Ministers of the Crown

Officials from Government departments and other Government agencies

Select committees

Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives

Cabinet Office

Primary purpose

The COVID-19 Drafting Manager will lead a team of drafters and their work drafting Government Bills and secondary legislation relating to COVID-19. This will involve managing the team, the team’s workflow, and relationships with key agencies and Ministers, and pro-actively working to identify and manage all Government work relating to COVID-19 that requires legislation. The role requires ensuring the delivery of quality and timely law drafting services, proactive management of legislative and workforce risks, continuous improvement of systems and processes, and other initiatives that support the cross-Government legislative response to COVID-19.

Secondary purpose

In addition, the COVID-19 Drafting Manager will take on other drafting, policy, or organisational projects suited to their skill set (as requested and work capacity permits).


The Team Manager is accountable for:

  1. leading and managing a drafting team for Government Bills and secondary legislation relating to COVID-19 by:
    • establishing (and/or maintaining) effective team processes and practices that will achieve organisational goals
    • effectively allocating drafting jobs to team members including ongoing monitoring of workloads of team members
    • allocating supervisors/reviewers to drafting jobs allocated to team members to meet the peer review quality assurance requirements
    • managing relationships with the team’s client departments
    • liaising with the Legislation Programme Co-ordinator as necessary
    • managing the team in accordance with PCO policies and in the best interests of the employer
  2. providing legislative design or process advice as appropriate (and as suited to their skill set)
  3. providing advice to Ministers and Cabinet Committees, if required
  4. providing advice to select committees, if required
  5. liaising with the Cabinet Office, the Office of the Clerk, the Gazette Clerk, and the contracted printer in relation to drafting assignments
  6. prioritising the ongoing improvement of drafting practices and procedures
  7. prioritising the ongoing improvement of organisational practices and procedures
  8. leading or participating in special projects (drafting and non-drafting) (as requested and work capacity permits)
  9. providing back-up drafting to support the team and the legislation programme (as suited to their skill set and work capacity permits)
  10. undertaking other tasks assigned by the Deputy Chief Parliamentary Counsel (Drafting).

Person specification

Professional experience

1.  A minimum of five years legal or policy advisory experience is required.  Machinery of Government experience is preferred. Previous successful management of staff would be an advantage but is not a requirement.

Skill requirements

2.  The COVID-19 Team Manager is expected to have or acquire the PCO generic skills set out in Schedules 1 and 2 of the PCO Skills policy. The Manager is also expected to have or acquire the Manager skills set out in Schedule 2 of the PCO Skills policy.  The PCO generic skills, in summary, relate to:

 (a)        personal integrity

 (b)        building and maintaining effective interpersonal relationships

 (c)        effectively and efficiently co-ordinating, performing and progressing work to completion

 (d)        providing high quality results for each person for whom the Counsel provides a service.

3.  The Manager is expected to: 

(a)        facilitate and guide by:

 (i)         providing written and oral advice

(ii)        presenting

(iii)       identifying and communicating relevant risks

(iv)       passing on knowledge

(v)        mediating

(vi)       winning concessions without damaging relationships

 (b)        support the drafting of coherent and effective legislation by:

 (i)         developing robust legislative structures

(ii)        researching precedents

(iii)       identifying legal and drafting problems and helping to resolve them

(iv)        advising on alternative approaches (where appropriate)

(v)       contributing to coherence of the statute book

(vi)      applying PCO norms and styles

(vii)     using applicable office resources, including seeking advice

 (c)        acquire and use knowledge to develop sound legislation by:

 (i)         researching, understanding, and applying the law

(ii)        understanding the relevant issues and background

(iii)       assessing the sufficiency of drafting instructions

(iv)       identifying legal problems and helping to resolve them

(v)        assessing relevant legal risks

 (d)        assist legislation through parliamentary, executive, and administrative processes by being familiar with:

(i)         relevant guidelines (Cabinet manual, drafting manual, LDAC Legislation Guidelines)

(ii)        quality assurance processes (Bill of Rights vetting, LDAC, Regulations Review Committee requirements)

(iii)       Standing Orders and House procedures (select committees and Committee of the whole)

(iv)       regulation-making processes.

4. With regard to management skills, the Manager is expected to lead and manage so as to achieve the PCO’s goals by:

(a)       promoting the PCO’s vision and strategic direction

(b)       promoting goal setting and efficient work practices

(c)        leading by example through positively demonstrating, communicating, and supporting the PCO’s culture and values

(d)       mitigating and managing risks

(e)       making sound plans

(f)        effectively managing personnel

(g)       managing conflict

(h)       consistently and effectively communicating

(i)         delegating effectively and appropriately

(j)         encouraging staff to develop their skills

(k)        positively supporting staff

(l)         letting staff know what is expected of them

(m)      ensuring staff have the materials and equipment they need to do their work

(n)       ensuring their team complies with established office policies and procedures

(o)       recognising and praising good work

(p)       developing and maintaining productive work relationships with external service providers

(q)       prudently managing any allocated budget and financial delegations.

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