ILANZ, In-House Lawyers Association of New Zealand


Principal Legal Counsel, Environment & RMA - NZTA - Multiple Locations

  • Be part of building a future focused transport system for all New Zealanders
  • Work with a strong and experienced team of professionals
  • Wellington (preferred) or Auckland based


About us | Ko wai mātou

At Waka Kotahi, the NZ Transport Agency, it all starts with our people. The organisation's performance and success depends on the people who choose to make this a great place to work and make a difference for Aotearoa. Waka Kotahi has a strong future focus, understanding that new technologies and changing customer expectations mean the transport system we know today will not be the one we deliver in ten years' time.


The Legal Team is here to enable Waka Kotahi to meet its strategic objectives by providing solutions focused legal advice and to help Waka Kotahi comply with the law and mitigate its legal risks.


The opportunity | Te Whiwhinga mahi

We are looking for a passionate leader who wants to make a difference for New Zealanders.  The focus of this role is providing strategic legal leaderships across a range of transport projects and related environmental, RMA and property legal work. 


The type of person suited to this role is someone who wants to step up, enjoys mentoring and supporting the development of more junior staff and is proactive in looking for opportunities to do things differently.  Success will be an ability to think strategically, be pragmatic and solutions-focused and see the wood for the trees.


The Principal Counsel, Environment & RMA's role is to provide legal leadership across all aspects of property, resource management, environment, planning and roading­ related legal work for Waka Kotahi. This position will have a significant role in supporting the delivery of the NZ Upgrade Programme (NZUP).  You will also be supporting the General Counsel in the leadership of the Environment & Property Legal Team.


In this role you will:

  • Provide legal leadership across aspects of property, resource management, environment, planning and roading-related legal work for Waka Kotahi
  • Advise the Group General Counsel, Board and Chief Executive on relevant legal issues
  • Oversee and set the strategic direction for environmental and property litigation, in collaboration with others within the Team, Waka Kotahi and other government agencies
  • Ensures that Waka Kotahi complies with all statutory requirements in the relevant areas of law
  • Proactively advise on the implications of policy and legal developments
  • Contribute to the strategic planning and delivery of the Legal Team's strategy and work programme
  • Proactively build relationships with key legal users across Waka Kotahi to build better understanding of the strategic context, support greater visibility of the pipeline of work, and to enable proactive legal thinking
  • Proactively build relationships with other key government agencies to better understand the context we are working in, work collaboratively with them, support knowledge sharing and leveraging best practice thinking
  • Help support the sourcing and management of external law firms


About you | Ko koe tēnei

To be successful in this role, you bring:

  • Experience in managing many of the resource management, property, environment and transport‑related legal work legal work in a complex organisation
  • Experience in providing support on the development of commercial strategies
  • An understanding of the public and administrative law overlay that applies to a Crown Entity
  • A strategic thinker, who can think beyond the issue at hand and set a clear strategic direction for Waka Kotahi
  • Experience in actively managing the legal risk profile of an organisation in a large and complex environment
  • 10+ years of post-qualification experience


Applications close Rā Katinga: Thursday 17th September 2020

Click here for a copy of the position description

For further information, email: [email protected]


To be considered for this position you must have a legal right to live and work in New Zealand.

NZ Transport Agency is an equal opportunity employer (EOE). At Waka Kotahi we recognise the importance of diversity and inclusion and are committed to providing a working environment that embraces these values. Please let us know if you need any support or have any access requirements that will help you through the recruitment process.