Principal Engagement Advisor

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Tēnei tūranga – About the role

The Temporary Accommodation Service (TAS) coordinates housing solutions for people displaced following an emergency.  TAS is currently operational in response to four events:  West Coast Flooding 2021, West Auckland Flooding 2021, Papatoetoe Tornado 2021 and Tairāwhiti Flooding 2021/2022. 

The Principal Engagement Advisor is a key operational leadership role responsible for building relationships with regional and local civil defence authorities, understanding the hazard landscape across New Zealand, developing plans for managing events, and continuous improvement of TAS service delivery capability to drive key service outcomes for customers.

When civil emergencies occur, the Principal Engagement Advisor will initially lead the intelligence function and acts as the primary channel for information between the Temporary Accommodation Service and regional Civil Defence agencies.

The Principal Engagement Advisor will bring their expert business, stakeholder and service operations understanding and perspective to work in partnership with their manager, other staff within MBIE and the Civil Defence sector.

Ngā herenga – Requirements of the role

Personal specifications

  • Credit check required (yes).
  • Required to drive (yes).
  • Police vetting (yes).
  • Demonstrated creativity in developing programmes and methods for engaging and educating an audience.
  • Demonstrated ability to build and maintain effective relationships with public service officials, community organisations, internal and external stakeholders.
  • Empathy, using skills that allow the Engagement lead to determine what is most important to their target audience, and then work to deliver on an organisational promise.
  • Recognised skills in organising, including the ability to manage multiple projects and tasks simultaneously and the ability to prioritise under deadline pressure.
  • Engaging manner, having a natural like of people, a knack for leading and skills that help engage others.
  • Proven communication skills including expertise in writing and public speaking.
  • Experienced and credible, perceived as a source of advice and guidance.
  • Professional leadership through the use of influencing skills, coaching and modelling behaviour.
  • Works in a manner of active collegial collaboration, including positive interaction with a wide variety of people and groups.
  • High energy levels and initiative, possessing a strong results orientation and the ability to plan and work without close supervision.
  • Writes clear and complete reports with robust analysis, sound conclusions and effective recommendations.
  • Able to lead and deliver results through others.
  • Willing and able to travel regularly as part of BAU work and in response to civil emergencies.
  • Experienced working and supporting others in a high-stress environment.
  • Comfortable working with and interpreting quantitative and qualitative data.
  • Must be a NZ citizen or hold a residence class visa.
  • Experience supporting delivery of customer-facing services is desirable.
  • Experience managing operational assets such as property is desirable.


  • Tertiary qualification or comparable relevant experience.

Takohanga tuhinga o mua – Key accountabilities and deliverables

Critical Areas of Success

The Principal Engagement Advisor Lead will be required to deliver results in the following areas:

  • Proactively develop engagement plans and partnerships with the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), local civil defence, councils and other agencies.
  • Lift the profile of the Temporary Accommodation Service and provide clarity on our service proposition.
  • Plan scenarios/events with the 16 regions of New Zealand to ensure we are well positioned to manage the impacts of natural disasters.
  • Identify suitable private land and agree on consent processes and site inspections to ensure we have a seamless plan in place ready for immediate implementation in the event of an emergency requiring temporary accommodation.
  • Be visible so that if there is an emergency there is awareness of who we are and what we do.
  • Fill key service delivery and response management roles when civil emergencies occur.
  • Create a culture and processes which achieve the business goals and objectives with regards to their customer service.
  • Work effectively with all peers and stakeholders to negotiate and influence customer improvements.
  • Contributes professional practice knowledge and advice to the development of service strategies and programmes.
  • Contributes to the development and implementation of best practice policies and procedures, including practice frameworks and practice standards, in service delivery.
  • Provides specialist advice to managers and senior leaders.
  • Participate in project teams to produce high quality information, reports and research on which to base decisions for development of service strategies and programmes.
  • Use operational expertise or leadership to make contributions to regional or national initiatives or projects.

Relationship Management

  • Build and maintain effective relationships and partnerships with internal and external stakeholders, as necessary, in order to identify and share best practice information and to promote TAS and its services.
  • Identify, engage early and work collaboratively with relevant stakeholders.
  • Make contacts with the appropriate people at local and regional councils so we know who needs to sign what when needed or have these contracts already set up. Establish databases, contacts and relationships with these people.
  • Attend CDEM and other meetings to maintain presence and provide perspective on what we do.
  • Go to conferences and other training to be visible, aware, educated and connected.
  • Proactively establish and maintain effective working relationships with key stakeholders including other functional leaders. Actively build and manage a network of key stakeholders.
  • Lead any engagement programme(s) with identified influencers and key clients.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of, and focus on, meeting customer needs and look for opportunities and synergies with internal and external stakeholders.
  • Develop effective working relationships with other MBIE managers and staff in order to transfer knowledge and learning to the team and wider organisation.


  • Uses a range of appropriate communication tools and methods to communicate effectively.
  • Can write in a style that is well organised, easily understood and relevant.
  • Communicates complex technical and/or legislative-type information in an easy to understand manner.
  • Can communicate confidently across a range of nationalities and roles.
  • Understands the principals of writing good content for the web (a key channel to market) and targeted to different audiences.

Customer Focus

  • Identifies the needs and expectations of customers.
  • Treats internal customers with the same courtesies they would extend to external customers.
  • Works hard to meet customer deadlines.
  • Always looks to improve service.
  • Maintains professionalism.

Organisational commitment and public service

  • Builds commitment to MBIE’s vision, mission, values and services.
  • Willingly undertakes any duty required within the context of the position.
  • Complies with all legislative requirements.
  • Adheres to the Ministry’s and State Services Commission Codes of Conduct.

Personal Leadership

  • Understands the work of colleagues and demonstrates sound influencing skills in an advisory/coaching role enabling improved stakeholder engagement outcomes.
  • Demonstrates leadership through effective management of issue resolution and reactive communications planning when necessary.
  • Creates a sense of vision, engages and motivates people to participate and make things happen.
  • Participates as an active team member and contributes knowledge and expertise needed to achieve MBIE’s outcomes.

Wellbeing, health and safety

  • Displays commitment through actively supporting all safety and wellbeing initiatives.
  • Ensures own and others safety at all times.
  • Complies with relevant safety and wellbeing policies, procedures, safe systems of work and event reporting.
  • Reports all incidents/accidents, including near misses in a timely fashion.
  • Is involved in health and safety through participation and consultation.

Tō tūranga i roto i te Manatū – Your place in the Ministry

The Principal Engagement Advisor position reports into the National Manager, Temporary Accommodation Service within the Strategy & Enablement branch. The branch sits within the Te Whakatairanga Service Delivery group.

More information about MBIE’s structure

To mātou aronga – What we do for Aotearoa New Zealand

Hīkina Whakatutuki is the te reo Māori name for the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. Hīkina means to uplift. Whakatutuki means to move forward, to make successful. Our name speaks to our purpose, Grow Aotearoa New Zealand for All.

To Grow Aotearoa New Zealand for All, we put people at the heart of our mahi. Based on the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi / The Treaty of Waitangi, we are committed to upholding authentic partnerships with Māori.

As agile public service leaders, we use our breadth and experience to navigate the ever-changing world. We are service providers, policy makers, investors and regulators. We engage with diverse communities, businesses and regions. Our work touches on the daily lives of New Zealanders. We grow opportunities (Puāwai), guard and protect (Kaihāpai) and innovate and navigate towards a better future (Auaha).

Ngā matatau – Our competencies

Cultivates innovation We create new and better ways for the organisation to be successful by challenging the status quo generating new and creative ideas and translating them into workable solutions.

Nimble learning We are curious and actively learn through experimentation when tackling new problems by learning as we go when facing new situations and challenges.

Customer focus We build strong customer relationships and deliver customer-centric solutions by listening and gaining insights into the needs of the communities we serve and actively seeking and responding to feedback.

Decision quality We make quality and timely decisions that shape the future for our communities and keep the organisation moving forward by relying on an appropriate mix of analysis, wisdom, experience, and judgement to make valid and reliable decisions.

Action oriented We step up, taking on new opportunities and tough challenges with purpose, urgency and discipline by taking responsibility, ownership and action on challenges, and being accountable for the results.

Collaborates We connect, working together to build partnerships with our communities, working collaboratively to meet shared objectives by gaining trust and support of others; actively seeking the views, experiences, and opinions of others and by working co-operatively with others across MBIE, the public sector and external stakeholder groups.

Te Tiriti o Waitangi

As an agency of the public service, MBIE has a responsibility to contribute to the Crown meeting its obligations under Te Tiriti o Waitangi (Te Tiriti). Meeting our commitment to Te Tiriti will contribute towards us realising the overall aims of Te Ara Amiorangi – Our Path, Our Direction, and achieve the outcome of Growing New Zealand for All. The principles of Te Tiriti - including partnership, good faith, and active protection – are at the core of our work. MBIE is committed to delivering on our obligations as a Treaty partner with authenticity and integrity and to enable Māori interests. We are committed to ensuring that MBIE is well placed to meet our obligations under the Public Service Act 2020 (Te Ao Tūmatanui) to support the Crown in strengthening the Māori/Crown Relationship under the Treaty and to build MBIE’s capability, capacity and cultural intelligence to deliver this.

Mahi i roto i te Ratonga Tūmatanui – Working in the public service

Ka mahitahi mātou o te ratonga tūmatanui kia hei painga mō ngā tāngata o Aotearoa i āianei, ā, hei ngā rā ki tua hoki. He kawenga tino whaitake tā mātou hei tautoko i te Karauna i runga i āna hononga ki a ngāi Māori i raro i te Tiriti o Waitangi. Ka tautoko mātou i te kāwanatanga manapori. Ka whakakotahingia mātou e te wairua whakarato ki ō mātou hapori, ā, e arahina ana mātou e ngā mātāpono me ngā tikanga matua o te ratonga tūmatanui i roto i ā mātou mahi.

In the public service we work collectively to make a meaningful difference for New Zealanders now and in the future. We have an important role in supporting the Crown in its relationships with Māori under the Treaty of Waitangi. We support democratic government. We are unified by a spirit of service to our communities and guided by the core principles and values of the public service in our work.

What does it mean to work in Aotearoa New Zealand’s Public Service?(external link) — Te Kawa Mataaho The Public Service Commission

MBIE value: Māia - Bold & brave, Pae Kahurangi - Build our future, Mahi Tahi - Better together, Pono Me Te Tika - Own it