List of access keys

COVID Drafting Manager

Lead and manage a group of dedicated cross-organisational legislative drafters for the COVID-19 legislative responses—fixed term or secondment of 6–9 months

The Parliamentary Counsel Office (PCO) drafts and publishes New Zealand’s legislation, and is at the forefront of the legislative responses to COVID-19.   

We have a new and exciting role for a star performer keen to bring their skills and knowledge to one of NZ’s most critical issues today.

The COVID Drafting Manager will provide valuable leadership for the drafting of COVID-19 legislation. The successful candidate will lead a cross-organisational team of drafters and manage the relationships with key agencies and Ministers. We are looking for a proactive people and workflow manager who will handle legislative and workforce risks effectively. You should be comfortable with a fast-moving environment, but also have a knack for continuously improving systems and processes. 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.

This role will also give you an opportunity to be involved with other drafting, policy, or other projects that are suited to your interests and skills.

If you have a minimum of five years legal or policy advisory experience, we would love to hear from you.  Previous successful management of staff would be an advantage but is not essential.

This is a full-time position, but there is flexibility to consider flexible work arrangements.

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

Applications close: 8 am Monday 17 May 2021

How to apply »

Job description


Parliamentary Counsel Office
Reserve Bank Building
2 The Terrace

Reports to

Deputy Chief Parliamentary Counsel (Drafting)


Fixed term or secondment for up to 9 months from appointment

Liaises with

Ministers of the Crown
Officials from Government Departments and Government agencies
Cabinet Office
All Parliamentary Counsel Office staff

Primary purpose

The COVID Drafting Manager will lead the drafting for the COVID-specific legislative responses. This will involve functional management of a cross-organisational team of drafters and the relationships with key agencies and Ministers. The role requires ensuring the delivery of quality and timely law drafting services, proactive management of legislative and workforce risks (for example, through development of templates), continuous improvement of systems and processes, and other initiatives that support the across Government legislative responses to COVID-19.

Secondary purpose

In addition to leading the COVID-specific legislative responses, the COVID Drafting Manager will take on other drafting, policy, or organisational projects suited to their skill set.


The Team Manager is accountable for:

  1. leading and managing a cross-organisational drafting team for the COVID-specific legislative responses 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 Coordinator as necessary
    • monitoring performance and encouraging professional development of team members
    • 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
  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, and the Gazette Clerk 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)
  9. 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 Drafting 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:

  • personal integrity
  • building and maintaining effective interpersonal relationships
  • effectively and efficiently coordinating, performing, and progressing work to completion
  • 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:

  • providing written and oral advice
  • presenting
  • identifying and communicating relevant risks
  • passing on knowledge
  • mediating
  • winning concessions without damaging relationships

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

  • developing robust legislative structures
  • researching precedents
  • identifying legal and drafting problems and helping to resolve them
  • advising on alternative approaches (where appropriate)

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

  • researching, understanding, and applying the law
  • understanding the relevant issues and background
  • assessing the sufficiency of drafting instructions
  • identifying legal problems and helping to resolve them
  • assessing relevant legal risks

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

  • relevant guidelines (Cabinet Manual, Drafting Manual, LAC Guidelines)
  • quality assurance processes (Bill of Rights vetting, LDAC, Regulations Review Committee requirements)
  • Standing Orders and House procedures (select committees and Committee of the whole)
  • 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:

  • promoting the PCO’s vision and strategic direction
  • promoting goal setting and efficient work practices
  • leading by example through positively demonstrating, communicating, and supporting the PCO’s culture and values
  • mitigating and managing risks
  • making sound plans
  • effectively managing personnel
  • managing conflict
  • prudently managing allocated budget and financial delegations
  • consistently and effectively communicating
  • delegating effectively and appropriately
  • encouraging staff to develop their skills
  • positively supporting staff
  • letting staff know what is expected of them
  • ensuring staff have the materials and equipment they need to do their work
  • ensuring his or her team complies with established office policies and procedures
  • recognising and praising good work
  • developing and maintaining productive work relationships with external service providers.

© Crown copyright 1997–2021