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Senior Adviser to Legislation Design and Advisory Committee

Making a difference to legislative design: 1–2 year secondment or fixed term opportunity for a senior adviser

We have a rare and exciting opportunity for a senior legal and policy adviser to join the Parliamentary Counsel Office in its work supporting the Legislation Design and Advisory Committee.

The Legislation Design and Advisory Committee is a committee of public and private sector experts appointed by the Attorney-General to drive quality in legislative design. The Committee is responsible for the Legislation Guidelines, Government’s key point of reference for assessing whether legislation is well designed and consistent with fundamental legal and constitutional principles. The Committee has three key roles:

  • advising departments and Ministers on how best to design legislative proposals to comply with the Legislation Guidelines, and reporting to the Attorney-General on key issues of concern
  • making submissions to select committees on Bills that raise significant legislative design, constitutional and public law issues
  • maintaining, improving, and engaging with the public and private sector on the Guidelines.

The Senior Adviser will work closely with the chair and the members to set the strategic focus of the Committee’s work programme, provide core advice to support its decisions and thinking, track emerging trends and issues, develop advice and submissions, engage with the Attorney-General’s office, and grow capability on Guidelines issues. The Senior Adviser works as part of a small team in the Parliamentary Counsel Office that reports to the Deputy Chief Parliamentary Counsel (Drafting).

This is a rare opportunity to combine strategic thinking, policy and legislative development experience, and enthusiasm for legislative design, all while working with respected senior officials and external advisers with deep experience in legislative design and on interesting cross-government issues. You will work at the heart of Government and, through being at the Parliamentary Counsel Office, gain exposure to legislation issues generally.

The role is designed to be filled through 1–2 year secondments, to enable you to bring your experience in legislative design to the Committee, and for you to take your knowledge back to your core role. However, we would also consider fixed term employment.

The role is full-time, but there is flexibility to consider part-time hours, job-sharing, and other flexible work arrangements.

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

Applications close: Friday 12 June 2020

How to apply »

Job description


Senior Adviser to Legislation Design and Advisory Committee
Secondment or fixed term (1–2 years)


Parliamentary Counsel Office
Reserve Bank Building
No 2 The Terrace

Reports to

Deputy Chief Parliamentary Counsel (Drafting)

Responsible for

LDAC Administrator

Liaises with

Chair and members of the Legislation Design and Advisory Committee
LDAC Adviser
Officials from government departments and other government agencies
Deputy Chief Parliamentary Counsel (Drafting)
Other Parliamentary Counsel Office staff


The primary purpose for the position is to provide policy and legal advice and support to the Legislation Design and Advisory Committee. 

Key accountabilities

The accountabilities of the Senior Adviser to the Legislation Design and Advisory Committee include:

  1. supporting the Committee’s review of particular legislative proposals, and advice to departments and select committees on legislative design and public law and constitutional issues on those proposals, including by—
    • assessing issues raised by legislative proposals pre-introduction, and selected Bills post-introduction
    • preparing draft advice for the Committee and draft submissions for select committees
    • liaising with officials, supporting the Committee’s meetings with officials and select committees
  2. assisting the Committee’s work on developing and enhancing the Legislation Guidelines and their usefulness in practice, including by—
    • tracking emerging issues and trends across legislation and assisting to set the Committee’s work programme and strategic focus
    • assisting the Committee with its development of supplementary material to support the Guidelines
    • assisting in ongoing review and improvement of the usability of the Guidelines
    • increasing the integration of the Guidelines into regulatory stewardship initiatives and other work across Government to improve regulatory design
  3. assisting the Committee in its engagement work, raising the profile of the Guidelines, and in developing a strong understanding of the work of the Committee across the public sector
  4. assisting the Committee with briefing the Attorney-General on particular legislative proposals raising issues under the Guidelines, developing trends, and on other matters relating to the Committee’s work
  5. promoting good engagement by the Committee with departments and agencies, parliamentary counsel, and with other key stakeholders, including by liaising with experts in the public and private sectors on Guidelines issues, seeking feedback, and developing good relations with other parts of the regulatory quality system
  6. maintaining and improving robust systems and processes to support, coordinate, track, report on, and disseminate the Committee’s work and enhance its effectiveness
  7. supervising and coordinating work done by the LDAC Adviser and/or others within PCO to support the Committee's work
  8. supervising the administrative support to the Committee by the LDAC Administrator, and working with the LDAC Administrator to establish, coordinate and support Committee meetings
  9. any other duties related to the purpose of the position.

Person specification


1.      The applicant must have a New Zealand law qualification and experience in a legal or policy role. Four to eight years’ experience in legislative development and public law in such a role is desirable.

Skill requirements

2.      The work requires a sound understanding of the law and the legal and constitutional principles set out in the Legislation Guidelines and the ability to identify, research, and analyse complex legal issues and policies.

3.     Experience and interest in legislative development and public law.

4.     Some project co-ordination experience will be an advantage.

5.     The ideal applicant will:

  • have personal integrity
  • build and maintain effective internal and external interpersonal relationships, with an ability to manage differing views
  • be an agile thinker and be able to understand new, changing, and complex situations quickly
  • exercise sound judgement in complex and ambiguous situations
  • be comfortable working autonomously, often with minimal supervision, and leading the direction of the Committee
  • be a systems thinker with an ability to see issues in their broader legislative, regulatory, policy, and political contexts
  • work cooperatively with people at all levels
  • effectively and efficiently perform work of a high quality to completion
  • have initiative, be proactive and be comfortable coordinating input from others and managing multiple priorities
  • have excellent clear written and oral communication skills
  • have good attention to detail, and accuracy.

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