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Drafting Stewardship Lead

1–2 years fixed term or secondment

Making a difference to legislative stewardship

The Parliamentary Counsel Office (PCO) is New Zealand’s legislative drafting and publishing office. The new Legislation Act 2019 gives the PCO a stewardship role over New Zealand’s legislation as a whole. In this exciting fixed term opportunity, you will support PCO’s senior leaders to define, as part of its transition to the new Legislation Act, what this new stewardship role means in practice for the design and drafting of legislation.

This is a great opportunity to contribute at a senior strategic level, and use your knowledge of government and your skills in working with others to further develop what the PCO contributes to the legislative system.

As Drafting Stewardship Lead, you will develop the strategic focus for the Drafting Unit’s stewardship initiatives. You will manage a small team charged with primary responsibility for those initiatives, as well as work collaboratively with others across the PCO. Your team will include the advisers who support the Legislation Design and Advisory Committee. Part of your role is to knit the work of LDAC together with the PCO’s other stewardship initiatives.

You will bring senior advisory experience in a legal or policy environment, and an ability to build relationships across government, together with proven skills in leading teams. You will need to be a systems thinker, able to see issues in their broader legislative, regulatory, policy, and political contexts, but also have deep practical experience in working with the legislative system. You will be tertiary qualified in law or public policy with excellent oral and written communication skills.

The role is full time, but there is ability to consider flexible work arrangements.

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

Applications close: Monday 27 July 2020

How to apply »

Job description


Parliamentary Counsel Office
Level 13
Reserve Bank Building
No 2 The Terrace

Reports to

Deputy Chief Parliamentary Counsel (Drafting)

Direct reports

LDAC Advisers
LDAC Administrator (indirect report)
Other members of drafting stewardship team

Liaises with

Deputy Chief Parliamentary Counsel (Drafting)
Drafting Team Managers
Parliamentary Counsel and other PCO staff

Ministers of the Crown
Officials from Government departments and other Government agencies
Members of LDAC
Members of standardisation board
Select committees
Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives
Cabinet Office

Primary purpose

The new Legislation Act 2019 gives PCO a broader stewardship role over New Zealand’s legislation as a whole.  

The primary purpose of this position is to lead the Drafting Unit’s setting of its strategic stewardship initiatives, and to establish and/or improve systems for the practical implementation of those initiatives, in the transition to the new Legislation Act.

Key accountabilities

The duties of the Drafting Stewardship Lead include:

  1. working closely with the DCPC (Drafting) and other leaders within the PCO to manage the delivery and landing of advice and tasks that assist the PCO to define the PCO’s stewardship role in the design and drafting of legislation, including by:
    • drawing on the expertise of others, as well as their own experience with and understanding of PCO’s key stakeholders and the wider legislative system, to provide strategic advice on that role
    • assisting the DCPC (Drafting) to assess the appropriate roles, systems and processes to lead stewardship practice in the longer term within the Drafting Unit
    • developing knowledge and understanding of drafting (including through undertaking some drafting where appropriate) so as to further understand the design and drafting of legislation.
  2. providing senior support to teams, managing issues, and assisting in the early identification of and response to emerging issues, where outcomes can be achieved through PCO’s stewardship activities of LDAC, the standardisation programme, and/or training or support to the legislative system
  3. managing the LDAC adviser team with the dual objectives of supporting them in the LDAC secretariat function and assisting the DCPC (Drafting) to better integrate LDAC and drafting work, in particular:
    • building the relationships and processes of LDAC and drafters to be mutually reinforcing (working closely with drafting team managers and drafters)
    • providing PCO input to develop, and/or oversee the development of, the initial key LDAC resources needed to reflect the new Legislation Act and Secondary Legislation Bill
    • seeing and taking advantage of opportunities for connecting LDAC initiatives with standardisation work
  4. leading, and providing senior support to, the standardisation programme to enable it to work more effectively and to deliver critical standardisation work needed to implement the Legislation Act. This work would include identifying and escalating issues to the DCPC (Drafting) for decision on content, developing supporting papers, and managing consultation and other processes to support drafters’ development of standard clauses
  5. coordinating and overseeing the Drafting Unit’s work on the revision programme and on other revision or rewrite initiatives.

o the purpose of the position.

Person specification

Professional experience
1.  The Drafting Stewardship Lead will have a relevant tertiary qualification in law or public policy and broad senior advisory experience in a legal or policy environment, along with previous successful management of teams.

2.  The role requires a sound understanding of the NZ legislative system and public law.

3.  Prior experience in leading a programme of legislative or policy work would be advantageous.
Skill requirements

4.  The ideal applicant will:      

  • have personal integrity
  • build and maintain effective interpersonal relationships, with an ability to manage differing views
  • be able to think strategically and contribute to developing strategic plans
  • be an agile thinker and be able to understand new, changing, and complex situations quickly
  • exercise sound judgement in complex and ambiguous situations
  • be a systems thinker with an ability to see issues in their broader legislative, regulatory, policy, and political contexts
  • have staff management experience
  • have excellent oral and written communication skills.

 The Drafting Stewardship Lead is expected to:

  • contribute to, and promote, the PCO’s vision and strategic direction
  • lead by example through positively demonstrating, communicating, and supporting the PCO’s culture and values
  • persuade others internally and externally in order to achieve goals set for the PCO
  • effectively lead a team and manage personnel
  • mitigate and manage risk
  • consistently and effectively communicate
  • continually develop knowledge and skills, in others and personally.


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