ILANZ, In-House Lawyers Association of New Zealand


Registrar/General Counsel - University of Otago - Dunedin


Te Whare Wananga o Otago

The University of Otago is New Zealand's first university and one of its finest. It is a leader across all fields of academic endeavour - the humanities, sciences, health sciences and business - regularly topping the New Zealand Tertiary Education Commission's education performance indicators. Today the University has about 20,000 students, and campuses in Dunedin, Wellington, Christchurch, Auckland and Invercargill. A comprehensive range of academic, technical, electronic, recreational, and welfare services help students and staff at the University of Otago to achieve their best.

At the University of Otago we are committed to working closely with iwi and Māori organisations and mātauraka Māori has become an integral part of teaching and research across the institution. Our relationship with Ngāi Tahu as mana whenua within their takiwā of Te Waipounamu and, through this, as the University's principal Treaty partner is especially important.

The role

The University of Otago Registrar / General Counsel (Registrar) is a senior executive officer of the University and member of the Vice-Chancellor's Advisory Group. Reporting to the Vice-Chancellor, the Registrar leads the Office responsible for the following functions: governance through the University Council and its committees; student appeals to the Appeals Board; statutes, regulations and policy; corporate records; copyright and mediation services; coordination of Official Information Act requests; and privacy. The role acts as the University's Privacy Officer.

The Registrar provides expert and strategic legal advice and support to the Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor on governance matters and is responsible for establishing best practice standards for the operation of the University Council and its committees. The Registrar plays a formal role in a number of ceremonies and is a signatory for relevant formal documents on behalf of the University.

This is a key University governance and leadership role ensuring the critical coordination of legal accountability to meet the University's statutory obligations.

Skills and experience

To be successful in this role, you will need to have:

  • Tertiary level qualification in Law
  • Proven experience of managing and leading the provision of administration / governance services in a large and complex organisation.
  • Significant experience and/or broad legal knowledge (corporate, commercial litigations, public, property)
  • Extensive experience in a role requiring a high level of diplomacy, dealing with confidential and sensitive material.
  • Strategic acumen.
  • Excellent problem solving skills.

Highly developed communication skills, excellent organisational skills and attention to detail are essential for this role. We are looking for applicants who are enthusiastic, thrive working in a team environment and have a positive approach to work and life.

Good knowledge of the University policies and procedures would be an advantage, but not essential. In-depth understanding of how legal issues affect organisations and essential. Working understanding of the Education Act 1989, Official Information Act 1982, Privacy Act 2020, Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987, and Public Records Act 2005 is important for this role.

For further information please contact Elena Calvert, Recruitment Manager by emailing [email protected] or phone +64 3 479 8116.


Applications quoting reference number 2102571 will close on Sunday, 23 January 2022.



To view all current vacancies and to apply online go to:

Equal opportunity in employment is University policy.

E tautoko ana Te Whare Wananga o Otago i te kaupapa whakaorite whiwhinga mahi.