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Part-time fixed-term Communications Adviser

The Parliamentary Counsel Office (PCO) provides legislative drafting services to the Government and publishes official legislation online and in hard copy. We are looking for an additional communications resource to support a number of limited-duration projects and business-as-usual initiatives. 

This is an exciting opportunity for a motivated and experienced person to fill the role of part-time Communications Adviser for a fixed-term period of nine months, working around 30 hours a week.

Reporting to the permanent Communications Adviser, you will be developing content for external and internal audiences; applying writing and production skills to PCO websites, newsletters, and reports; and proofreading internal and external communications prior to publication. You will also be establishing and maintaining stakeholder contact databases, including robust records of communications with stakeholders.

You will have at least three years' previous experience in a similar role, with skills and interests in multi-media formats. Ideally you have an understanding of the parliamentary sector. 

You will have excellent communication skills, with the ability to write for print and web, proficiency in using industry standard web editing software programmes, and demonstrable advanced skills in MS Office and InDesign. You will need to be able to work without close supervision and be ready to provide a high level of customer service.

For more about the role see the job description and person specification below. For further information about the position, please contact Gillian McIlraith on 04 817 6707 or email

Applications close: 8 am on Monday 25 September 2017

How to apply »

Job description


Parliamentary Counsel Office
Reserve Bank Building
2 The Terrace
Wellington 6160

Reports to

Communications Adviser

Liaises with


Chief Parliamentary Counsel
Senior Management Team
Third tier managers
All other PCO staff


Parliamentary Service
Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives
Government agencies
General public
Printers and suppliers as necessary

Primary purpose

The primary purpose of the role is to provide support to the permanent Communications Adviser on fulfilling communications needs across current multiple limited-duration projects and business-as-usual initiatives that require additional communications resourcing. The fixed-term Communications Adviser will undertake both business-as-usual and project work, which will in turn allow the permanent Communications Adviser to contribute to the projects.

Because the work spans multiple projects and business-as-usual initiatives, the nature of the work required on a day–to-day basis will vary to reflect stakeholder needs and priorities. However, the broad parameters of the role are expected to remain relatively stable over the fixed term.

Key accountabilities

The Communications Adviser will be accountable for:

  1. supporting projects and business-as-usual initiatives with professional communications
  2. developing content for internal and external audiences including briefings to parliamentary bodies
  3. writing and producing tasks as specified by the Communications Adviser, including but not limited to editing PCO websites, internal newsletters, sector newsletters, and the intranet
  4. proofreading internal and external communications prior to publication and making recommendations for wording amendments and/or layout changes
  5. establishing and maintaining stakeholder contact databases and mailing lists required for projects and business-as-usual activities
  6. supporting projects in maintaining robust records of communications with stakeholders
  7. contributing to the development and implementation of innovative communication approaches for projects eg through the development of high-impact print, presentation, and web content
  8. any other associated duties as required by the Communications Adviser.

Person specification

Qualifications and experience

The ideal fixed-term Communications Adviser will have:

  1. a qualification in communications, marketing, or other relevant field
  2. a minimum of three years’ previous experience in a similar role
  3. experience in a similar writing role with skills and interest in multi-media formats
  4. an understanding of the parliamentary sector and the role of the Parliamentary Counsel Office, or the ability to quickly develop a strong understanding
  5. an understanding of best practice digital service delivery strategies
  6. good knowledge and understanding of professional project management principles and processes.
Skills and Competencies
  1. Excellent written communications skills with the ability to write for print and web, with good attention to detail and proofreading skills.
  2. Skilled in using industry standard web editing software, eg Silverstripe and Confluence, including working in HTML, to maintain intranet and external websites.
  3. Demonstrable advanced MS Office and InDesign skills.
  4. Customer focus: Is dedicated to meeting the expectations and requirements of internal and external customers; gets first-hand customer information and uses it for improvements in products and services; acts with customers in mind; establishes and maintains effective relationships with customers and gains their trust and respect.
  5. Integrity and trust: Demonstrates personal integrity by: upholding ethical standards (including the Standards of Integrity and Conduct for the State Services), maintaining confidentiality, being trustworthy, being open and honest, complying with office policies, taking responsibility; and managing conflicts of interest. Is widely trusted; is seen as a direct, truthful individual; can present the unvarnished truth in an appropriate and helpful manner; keeps confidences; admits mistakes; doesn’t misrepresent him/herself for personal gain.
  6. Listening: Practises attentive and active listening; has the patience to hear people out; can accurately restate the opinions of others even when they disagree.
  7. Priority setting and time management: Spends their time and the time of others on what’s important; quickly zeros in on the critical few and puts the trivial many aside; can quickly sense what will help or hinder accomplishing a goal; eliminates roadblocks; creates focus. Uses time effectively and efficiently; values time; concentrates their efforts on the more important priorities; can attend to a broader range of activities.
  8. Perseverance: Pursues everything with energy, drive, and a need to finish; seldom gives up before finishing, especially in the face of resistance or setbacks.
  9. Interpersonal savvy: Relates well to all kinds of people, up, down, and sideways, inside and outside the organisation; builds appropriate rapport; builds constructive and effective relationships; uses diplomacy and tact; can diffuse even high-tension situations comfortably.

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