ILANZ, In-House Lawyers Association of New Zealand


Senior Legal Counsel, Public Law - Full-Time - Wellington

Senior Legal Counsel, Public Law

Join Health New Zealand | Te Whatu Ora at a key time of change where you will meaningfully contribute to our kaupapa of creating a more equitable, accessible, cohesive and people-centred health system.

Te whiwhinga mahi | The Opportunity

The Senior Legal Counsel – Public Law is a member of the Health NZ legal team. Our offices are located across New Zealand, supporting the operational work of our hospitals and community services. We are a collaborative, collegial and empathetic team united by a commitment to support quality health services and outcomes for all New Zealand’s populations. Our work is broad-ranging and critically important, including work on significant and often novel public law, regulatory, medico-legal and privacy issues, and major procurement, data & digital, commercial, construction, property and litigation matters.  This work is fundamental to achieving the kaupapa of our organiation.s

We are seeking a Senior Legal Counsel to join our Public Law team, to provide high-quality, system-minded, and pragmatic in-house legal advice across all parts of the organisation, but particularly those associated with:

  • the transfer of functions from the Ministry of Health (including commissioning, national public health service, and screening services);
  • Health NZ’s obligations as a crown entity including under Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Act 2022 and Te Tiriti o Waitangi; and
  • the centralisation of administrative and governance processes (including OIA and Privacy).

The public law team plays a key role in supporting the Office of the Chief Executive and connecting with the broader organisation in the regions.

This is a full-time permanent role based in Wellington, however we are open to applications from those looking for a part time position.

Mōu | About you

Ideally, you will have at least six years' post-qualification experience in public or health law.  You will be someone who enjoys a challenge, can take the initiative and get the best outcome for the organisation.   Your great communication skills, comfort with ambiguity and ability to provide both reactive and proactive advice to a wide range of internal clients and other stakeholders in a fast-moving and diverse environment, will all be key to success in this role.  You are willing to learn and build on your skills and take the lead on projects and tasks.  Being a great team player, you will enjoy contributing to build the culture of the legal team.  You have outstanding relationship building skills and your ability to see through complex problems and issues will be crucial.

We welcome applications from candidates with less post-qualification experience, who still meet the other essential criteria. In which case, we would offer the position as a Legal Counsel role to the successful candidate. We encourage you to apply and showcase your skills and qualifications!

Ka kawea e koe | You will bring:

  • A commitment to being a good Te Tiriti partner in all your actions. This includes an understanding of the significance of and obligations under Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and the ability to apply Te Tiriti principles in a meaningful way in this role
  • Competency with te ao Māori, tikanga, and te reo Māori or a commitment to starting your journey and taking ownership of your learning and growth

Ko te mahi e tika ana mō te ao hurihuri nei |Work that suits today's ever-changing world

Health NZ supports flexible and hybrid working for our kaimahi. We want our national teams to be made up of diverse people from across the motu, just like our health system.

Tō mātou whakahaere ki te tika, te rerekētanga, me te whai wāhi mai |Our commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion

Our name, Te Whatu Ora, means ‘the weaving of wellness’. Whatu is the combining together of people, resources, organisations, thoughts and actions for the betterment and wellbeing of all. Whatu is also a direct reference to the pupil of the eye, and the vision required of the new entity and system.

At Health NZ we acknowledge and respect our people's diversity and spiritual needs, ensuring a safe workplace that is a whānau orientated and supportive environment. We are working towards a system that better meets the complex demands of a growing population, addresses the persistent inequalities experienced by Māori and ensures greater access, experience and outcomes for those traditionally not well served by the system – Māori, Pacific and Disabled People.

 Tō tūranga i roto i Te Whatu Ora | Your place in Te Whatu Ora

When you join us, you become part of transforming the health system. This is a once in a life-time change,that will touch the lives of everyone in Aotearoa, and future generations. We want to see the real you in your application and welcome the real you on board if you come and work with us. Skills are gained across many areas of our life, not just in formal employment. If you can demonstrate the skills listed in the ad, but the experience was gained through whānau life, community or mahi aroha (volunteering) we encourage you to apply and share your story with us in your cover letter.

We particularly welcome applications from our diverse Māori, Pacific, disabled, and rainbow communities.

Me pēhea te tuku tono | How to apply

To view the position description and/or apply for the role (by submitting your cover letter and CV), please please follow this link:  For tracking and reporting purposes, all applications must be submitted through our online career portal. If you have any questions about the role, please feel free to contact Judy Chappell, Senior Recruitment Consultant by emailing [email protected].


SP21 Min $107,886; Mid $134,857; Max $161,829