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Data Scientist/ Senior Data Scientist

Date:  02-Aug-2022

Wellington, NZ


About us

The Ministry of Social Development is a people-centred organisation. We’re in communities across the motu, working with partners to help New Zealanders be safe, strong and independent.
We provide social policy and advice to government and assistance, including income, employment and housing support to people of all ages, families, whānau and communities.
As a Te Tiriti o Waitangi partner we are committed to supporting and enabling Māori, whānau, hapū, Iwi and communities to realise their own potential and aspirations.
Our people are as diverse as the communities we serve. We care about the wellbeing and success of our people and provide a supportive and inclusive working environment where people can thrive and be who they are.



Data Scientist / Senior Data Scientist


Permanent Opportunity


Wellington base only


Manaaki tangata, Manaaki whānau

The Ministry of Social Development (MSD) helps New Zealanders to be safe, strong and independent. It strives for New Zealanders to get the support they require, be resilient, live in inclusive and supportive communities, participate positively in society and reach their potential.


Te Pae Tawhiti – ‘Our Future’ - is MSD’s strategic direction. It sets out how MSD is going to bring about positive changes in the wellbeing of the people, whānau, families and communities it serves.


To make the biggest difference it can for New Zealanders, it is focusing on three areas:


  • Mana manaaki - is about looking after the dignity of people with warmth, listening, respect, compassion, openness and fairness.
  • Kotahitanga - is about unity and collective action, working together with whānau, families, hapū, iwi, providers, communities and other government agencies.
  • Kia takatū tātou - underpins the intention to prepare for future realities and take a long-term approach to community, regional and economic development.




About the Role

The Data Scientist / Senior Data Scientist role will report to the Manager, Modelling and System Analytics. The Modelling and System Analytics team is situated within the System Performance group, Strategy and Insights.  


It will be an exciting opportunity for someone who has the passion for making a difference to the lives of New Zealanders. This is not a typical Data Scientist role. You’ll be working with data in the Stats NZ’s Integrated Data Infrastructure (IDI), and you’ll also be leading projects that sit across the Strategy and Insights group. 


You’ll be maximising the value of data, mentoring others in the IDI, reporting on outcomes for both MSD clients and the wider New Zealand population, and proactively thinking about ways data can be used to inform the priority questions of the day.


Your work will help the Ministry better understand the outcomes of the people it supports and inform priority areas of interest for policy development or service improvement.


You’ll be working with a high performing passionate team who will fully support you to be successful.



What do we do?

The Modelling and System Analytics team provides information about how people move through the benefit and public housing systems and estimates their potential future movements and lifetime service use. This helps us identify which groups of people are likely to need more, or less, support, and inform priority areas of interest. The team generally takes a long-term view of people’s lives and livelihoods.



About the right person

If you believe you are a strategic thinker with strong analytical ability, able to lead projects in a busy and complex environment, adapt to the needs of the stakeholders and able to positively engage with people at all levels, we would love to hear from you.




What do we offer you?

You’ll join an inclusive and fun environment where we will celebrate achievements and prioritise action. Our team values diversity and we welcome flexible working. We are working towards Te Ao Māori being embedded in the way we do things at MSD and we would love you to join us on this journey.



If the opportunity sounds good to you, do not hesitate, apply now!








How to apply


To apply, click the 'Apply Now' button to upload your CV, cover letter and complete the online application form.  


Note: Your cover letter will be a key part of our assessment process, so please highlight how your experience relates to the key responsibilities listed in the position description. 


All applications must be made online.  If this is not possible or if you have any queries, please contact us at


Internal MSD Employees – please apply through your myHR portal at work.  This will ensure that your myHR employee profile is visible as internal candidate.


Closing date: Tuesday, 16 August 2022






Joining us

Joining MSD means being part of a whānau that celebrates the diversity each individual represents.  We show manaaki, we care about the wellbeing and success of people and want everyone to thrive, and be who they are in a supportive and inclusive working environment. We work together to make a difference for communities while doing the right thing with integrity. We are a Treaty partner committed to strengthening relationships with Māori, Hapū, Iwi and communities to realise their own potential and aspirations.

If you have any support or access requirements, we encourage you to tell us when you apply so we can assist you through the recruitment process.


MSD has a COVID-19 vaccination policy which requires employees to be fully vaccinated prior to 1 September 2022. From 1 September 2022 MSD's policy will be to encourage, but not require, employees to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and its variants unless the role is identified as requiring vaccination at the time.