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Senior Lawyer

Date:  10-Oct-2021

Wellington, NZ Canterbury, 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.



Senior Lawyer, Wellington or Christchurch (2)



Put your legal skills and experience to work, helping New Zealanders to be safe, strong and independent 



We are looking for enthusiastic lawyers with high levels of integrity and professionalism to join our supportive and collegial team, in providing quality legal services for the Ministry of Social Development.  


The Southern Regional team is focused on providing advice to the regional staff and conducting prosecutions in the District Court and litigation before the Social Security Appeal Authority.  


Due to internal transfers we are looking for two Senior Lawyers to join our team.  You will have an interest in working in the Public Service and bringing your general experience to a wide range of legal problems.  Experience in social security law is preferrable as is demonstrated litigation experience.  Strong coaching and mentoring skills are essential.  We are looking for lawyers who would enjoy helping our internal clients make great decisions while supporting the growth and development of their colleague’s.


Our preference for location is Wellington / Christchurch but we have learned to work well remotely and would consider other locations for the right candidate.  All our lawyers have the opportunity to assist across the areas undertaken by the broader Legal team.  




Our ideal lawyers:


•    Are curious, analytical and have an eye for detail 
•    Provide clear legal advice on complex issues
•    Have strong research, writing and drafting skills
•    Enjoy working collaboratively and developing relationships with clients
•    Have excellent sense-making and critical thinking abilities



You’ll join an inclusive and fun environment where we will celebrate achievements and prioritise development.  Our team values diversity and we welcome flexible working.


If this sounds like it might be for you, we’d love to hear from you. If you’d like to have a confidential chat with our management team to find out more about the roles or the team, please contact Michelle Johansen, Team Manager Regional on 029 200 6176 or by email at 


To apply, write a cover letter addressing the technical elements of the role, as well as ‘Our ideal lawyers’ of no more than 2 pages, together with your CV.









The Senior Lawyer role has a salary range of $100,014 to $125,018 dependant on experience.








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, to apply, write a cover letter addressing the technical elements of the role, as well as ‘Our ideal lawyers’ of no more than 2 pages, together with your CV.


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: Monday, 25 October 2021






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.