The Department of Conservation (Te Papa Atawhai) is the government agency responsible for conserving the natural and historic heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand. Te Papa Atawhai fulfils this role through a range of work including stewardship of about 8.6 million hectares of land, 44 marine reserves (covering 1.77 million hectares), and 8 marine mammal sanctuaries (covering approximately 2.8 million hectares).

The Director-General of Conservation (Director-General) has an important role to lead the conservation system including the protection, restoration, and sustainable use of biodiversity in Aotearoa, to achieve the conservation outcomes of Te ora o Papatūānuku | Healthy nature, Te ora o te Hapori | Thriving communities, and Te hunga Atawhai | People who care.

The Director-General has a pivotal leadership role in ensuring that the vision for biodiversity is realised and that the agreed strategic direction is implemented at national, regional and local levels.

The Director-General will lift Te Atawhai’s capability and capacity to partner with whānau, hapū, iwi, particularly in relation to co-governance and leadership in a post-Treaty settlement environment as the Crown’s Treaty partner.

The Director-General also works alongside environmental non-governmental organisations (NGOs), central and local government, businesses, organisations, industry and individuals to achieve conservation outcomes.

In Te Papa Atawhai, the Director-General is responsible for ensuring effective management with an appropriate operating model, clear policies and sound practices.

The ideal candidate will have a credible understanding of, and commitment to, conservation. They will have a track record of leading organisations with national presence, delivering in complex situations, operating at the political interface, and be experienced in building organisational capability.

If you think you are the right person for this role, an application pack can be downloaded from For further information or a confidential discussion about this position, please contact:

Completed applications must be submitted by Sunday 20 June 2021.

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