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Senior Adviser to Legislation Design and Advisory Committee

Making a difference to legislative design:  1–2 year secondment opportunity for senior/intermediate adviser

We have an exciting opportunity for a senior or intermediate 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 cross-agency committee dedicated to good-quality and well-designed legislation. It advises departments on the design of legislation and constitutional and public law issues arising out of the LAC Guidelines on Process and Content of Legislation. The committee has two key roles:

  • maintaining, improving, and educating the public sector on the Guidelines—the Guidelines are the Government’s key point of reference for assessing whether draft legislation is well designed and consistent with fundamental legal and constitutional principles
  • advising officials from across the Government on how best to design legislative proposals and comply with the Guidelines, and reporting to the Attorney-General on key issues of concern.

The Committee is made up of senior public sector officials with deep experience in legislative design, and has an External Subcommittee comprising senior academics and private sector lawyers. The adviser will work closely with these 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 across legislation, and grow the capability of the public sector on Guidelines issues. A core aspect of the role will involve developing Supplementary Material for the Guidelines that will provide practical examples and thinking behind key issues and improve the usability of the Guidelines.

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 on interesting cross-government issues. You will work at the heart of Government, and through being at the Parliamentary Counsel Office also 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 2 March 2018

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


Liaises with

Chair and members of the Legislation Design and Advisory Committee
Chair and members of the Legislation Design and Advisory External Subcommittee
Officials from government departments and other government agencies
Deputy Chief Parliamentary Counsel (Drafting)
EA to the Deputy Chief Parliamentary Counsel (who provides administrative assistance to the Committee)
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 reports and 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 LAC Guidelines on Process and Content of Legislation (the 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
    • researching key issues and providing advice to the Committee to support its thinking and decisions on those issues and recording those decisions
    • developing (or working with experts across government to develop) 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 education and training 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, including attending oral briefings
  5. promoting good engagement by the Committee with departments and agencies 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 the administrative support to the Committee by the EA, and working with the EA to coordinate and support meetings
  8. any other duties related to the purpose of the position.

Person specification


1.      The applicant must have a New Zealand law degree and experience in a legal or policy role. Four to eight years’ experience 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 Guidelines on Process and Content of Legislation and the ability to identify, research, and analyse complex legal issues and policies.

3.     Experience and/or interest in legislative development and public law issues is an advantage.

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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