Department of Conservation - Te Papa Atawhai


We run programmes to protect and restore our species, places and heritage, and provide opportunities for people to engage with these treasures.

About this role

  • Want to work with unique and endangered taonga species and explore the backcountry on the edge of Te Wāhipounamu UNESCO World Heritage Area?
  • Work with a dynamic team in some of New Zealand's vast and unique landscapes.
  • We have a permanent position available in the South Westland Operations team.

Toitū te marae a Tāne, toitū te marae a Tangaroa, toitū te tangata

If the land is well and the sea is well, the people will thrive

At Te Papa Atawhai, Department of Conservation we express our spirit of service and serve Aotearoa through our purpose, Papatūānuku Thrives. Our organisational strategy, Te Kaupapa a Te Papa Atawhai, puts nature and people at the heart of everything we do. It is anchored by te reo Māori and te ao Māori, recognising that Te Tiriti o Waitangi and our whānau, hapū and iwi are central to all our mahi.

He angitūtanga | About the role

As the Supervisor Biodiversity, you will provide leadership and guidance to a team of dedicated rangers working to protect Haast tokoeka kiwi and other endangered or vulnerable species in South Westland. This role will require you to work closely with both the rangers undertaking the mahi in the field, and the senior leadership team for the district. You will directly support the Operations Manager and will be responsible for both providing input to work planning across the district, and ensuring approved work is completed on-time and to a high standard.  You will be required to induct and train new staff members, plan and schedule work for the team, and cultivate a strong health and safety culture. Your team will include permanent, fixed-term and casual staff; Jobs for Nature workers; volunteers and contractors. The core purpose of this role is to enable the team to function effectively, ensuring staff safety, wellbeing and development are prioritised. It is expected that part of your time will be spent working directly with staff in the field.

The mahi undertaken by the biodiversity team will include, but is not limited to; adaptive management of Haast tokoeka kiwi, mohua protection, fur seal monitoring, lizard surveys, and landscape scale predator control. The Haast biodiversity team is one part of the wider biodiversity spread across South Westland, and staff are expected to work across the district as required. You will also support Compliance work within the district/region.

Haast is an extremely special place to live, surrounded by mountains and ocean, with endless activities for an outdoor enthusiast. The team recently discovered a new population of Haast tokoeka kiwi to the south of Haast, showing that this vast area of wilderness still holds a few secrets to uncover.

Ngā pūkenga me ngā wheako | Skills and experience

We are looking for a motivated and inspiring leader who is passionate about people and biodiversity. You will have a genuine desire to support those around you, and a passion for protecting and enhancing our taonga species. We want to hear from you if you have:

  • Demonstrated leader/supervisor skills and the ability to inspire, motivate and coach a passionate team.
  • Previous experience in biodiversity, particularly in endangered species management programmes
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, including experience managing relationships with partners and stakeholders
  • Outstanding time management and organisational skills
  • A passion for supporting the success of others
  • Data analysis and report writing skills
  • Experience with budgeting and contract management
  • A strong health and safety focus as well as a good level of fitness
  • Practical experience in the field and backcountry, including strong navigation, map reading, and GPS skills
  • Full accreditations for handling kiwi (preferred but not essential)
  • The ability to live and work in a small, remote community
  • Previous experience engaging and working in partnership with iwi and tangata whenua, as well as an understanding of the implications of te Tiriti o te Waitangi (the Treaty of Waitangi) on today's society and conservation is highly desirable.

Mō te tīma | About the team

The Haast, Fox Glacier and Franz Josef operations teams work together to manage extensive areas of public conservation land within the South Westland district. The district team is led by one Pou Matarautaki (Operations Manager) and consists of approximately 35 permanent staff, spread across the three locations. Each office is split into multiple functional groups, including Biodiversity threats, Biodiversity assets, Community and Visitor Centre, and Heritage and Visitors.

Ko ngā hua | What we offer

We take pride in enabling our kaimahi to bring their unique perspectives to mahi, in pursuit of our collective aspirations. Our commitment to well-being and professional development includes:

  • Free accommodation in our backcountry huts and campsites as well as general travel and accommodation discount
  • Excellent employee wellbeing initiatives including flexible working arrangements and the employee assistance program
  • Active employee networks, Te Kāwai Aho Tapu – Māori Kaimahi Network, Rainbow Network

Tono ināianei | Apply now

Submit a tailored CV and cover letter highlighting your relevant skills, experience, and alignment to our Kaupapa.

The salary range for this position is $72,610 - $92,780 with the starting salary of the successful applicant being based on their relevant skills and experience.

Rā katinga | Applications close: Tuesday 1 November, 5pm

Me he pātai anō | Further enquiries contact Wayne Costello on 022 009 2963

TaupāngaJob Reference: 400/07460

COVID-19 Vaccination requirement – All employees are required to be vaccinated in line with our Vaccination Policy. New employees will be required to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination prior to commencing employment.

Eligibility to work in New Zealand is mandatory – this includes holding a valid work visa that covers the whole period of employment.

Visit to find out more about a career with us.