New Zealand Law Society - Associate General Counsel - Public Law and Litigation

Associate General Counsel - Public Law and Litigation

  • A rare opportunity to perform a senior and substantial government legal role focused on the public law, public housing and litigation needs of a large Crown Entity with both commercial and social priorities
  • You will lead a team of 10 solicitors and a privacy manager with a team of 4
  • You will have strong thought and people leadership skills together with a meaningful commitment to contribute to the operation of the wider Legal Team and to the attainment of the organisation's core strategic priorities
  • You will be a member of the Legal Leadership Team with colleagues leading legal teams in respect of Construction Law, Property Law, Legal Operations, Urban Development, Maori Interests, and Commercial Law
  • While you will need to work closely with the General Counsel given the character of the issues that frequently arise in the areas you manage, the role comes with a substantial amount of autonomy
  • We pay a competitive salary, offer 5 weeks annual leave, provide a suite of insurances, and various other benefits
  • The role is based in Wellington

Kāinga Ora has a COVID-19 Vaccination policy that requires employees to be fully vaccinated, you will be required to provide your vaccination pass during the recruitment process. 

Mō mātou - Our Organisation
At Kāinga Ora, ours is the important responsibility of transforming New Zealand's housing choices, outcomes and the entire housing sector by creating homes and communities that allow New Zealanders to thrive.

What is exciting about working for Kāinga Ora is getting the chance to make a real and positive impact on New Zealanders' lives. With skills, planning and purposeful action, our people are creating the homes and neighbourhoods that will build the future of Aotearoa. We are passionate about transforming New Zealand for the better. That includes being a trusted partner for Māori and iwi, protecting and enabling their rights, interests and aspirations under the guidance of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

Ko tā mātou mahi - Our Role
Reporting to the General Counsel, the Associate General Counsel - Public Law and Litigation leads a team of 10 solicitors and a privacy manager with a team of 4. The public law part of the role is responsible for a broad range of public law issues including human rights, health and safety, involvement in the development of legislation, Treaty, regulatory matters, privacy and so on. The public law role also incorporates responsibility for legal services to our organisation's public housing part of the business. Litigation and dispute resolution work ranges through Coronial Inquiries, significant disputes involving our tenants, commercial disputes with our suppliers and so forth.  Most of the 10 solicitors in the team are senior legal counsel with specialist knowledge of the various areas that the team covers. 

Thought leadership will come naturally to you and you will be confident in your ability to influence and promulgate ideas along with identifying and embedding strategic opportunities for the organisation. You will also be confident in providing specialist advice to the Board and senior leaders. The role offers significant opportunities to contribute to the success of the organisation beyond simply providing the legal perspective. 

We are looking for a legal super star who is a strong leader of people and ideas and who has the commitment to drive the role to meaningfully contribute to our organisation's success. 

Ngā pūmanawatanga ōu - What you will bring

  • Demonstrated ability to lead strategically using deliberate, thoughtful long-term thinking, whilst balancing current business needs and preparing for and responding to future challenges and opportunities 
  • Demonstrated experience leading highly skilled, high performing and engaged management and professional legal teams in a multi-faceted and demanding environment 
  • In-depth knowledge of New Zealand's legal system, particularly the administration of government
  • A good working understanding of  Te Ao Māori and the Treaty of Waitangi
  • A current NZLS Practicing Certificate
  • Excellent interpersonal, relationship management and networking skills 
  • The behavioural characteristics and skills required to work in a matrixed environment 
  • Interest in public sector structure, governance, processes and systems 
  • Experience navigating and operating in a regulated environment, experience working constructively across functions and track record of building and maintaining the trust of all stakeholders 

Nōu te rourou - What's in it for you?  
We offer competitive salaries, five weeks' annual leave and a benefits package including a range of insurances, flexible working arrangements and career development.

As a Kāinga Ora - Homes and Communities employee, we want to make sure that you have all the tools and support you need. We want to ensure you are healthy and have work-life balance. We also want to support and grow your personal and career development through on-the-job learning, training courses, secondments and study opportunities. 

Ō Tātou Uara - Our Values
Our values were developed by us, for us. They unite us as an organisation and guide how we work every day. Our values are:

  • Manaakitanga - People at the Heart
  • Mahi Tahi - Better Together
  • Whanake - Be Bold

Tūhono mai - Join us
To view the position description and apply for this role, please follow the online process via Please note: all applicants, including existing employees, need to follow this process. If you have any questions, please contact the recruitment team via

Applications close 30 May 2022.

We value diversity and are committed to working with each other and our customers in an inclusive and respectful way. We welcome applicants from all walks of life and appreciate the richness of experience that your point of difference brings to the organisation.

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