Working at Motu

This is the page for information about job vacancies at Motu including:

Partnerships Director - Deep South National Science Challenge

Are you determined to see climate adaptation science integrated into decision-making in Aotearoa New Zealand? Are you confident that linking science with local and central government, iwi, industry and communities can lead to better planning and decision-making, for all New Zealanders?

One of the primary aims of the Deep South Challenge is to connect science with society, to gain real traction on one of the most pressing, and most intractable, issues of our time – climate change. Our mission is to enable New Zealanders to adapt, manage risk, and thrive in a changing climate. The Deep South Challenge values comprehensive two-way engagement with stakeholders and end users. The role of Partnerships Director provides you with an extraordinary chance to make a difference, to support New Zealanders to adapt effectively to our changing climate.

As Partnerships Director, you will build on an already comprehensive network, and you’ll facilitate two-way engagement via our Representative User Group, bilateral meetings, events like workshops and conferences, and through our flagship Deep South Dialogues. You will support end users to communicate their needs back to the Challenge, so that our research programme can directly support them.

You will also coordinate Communication and Engagement plans for Deep South Challenge research projects. Supporting project leads to engage effectively, you will coordinate engagement between projects and seek to ‘nationalise’ research with end users.
You’ll be part of a supportive team that is having a real impact in the climate adaptation space.

Find the full Job Description here. Submit your CV and application letter by 5pm, 13 December 2017.
Email :


Kaiarahi - Waro Project

Motu Economic and Public Policy Research and Hikurangi Enterprises are looking for a person or persons to support the development of the Waro Project. This project focuses on using carbon markets and the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) to facilitate native forest regeneration on Māori land. More information on this project can be found here.

The main purposes of the role are to:

  1. help identify Māori landowners potentially interested in native forest regeneration in order to share related information and support services;
  2. connect interested Māori landowners with purchasers Kof NZ Carbon Units (NZUs);
  3. engage with purchasers of NZUs in order to help initiate conversations with Māori landowners who are interested in exploring ETS-related agreements; and
  4. observe and record negotiations and agreements between purchasers of NZUs and participating Māori landowners on the East Coast, so that both groups can better understand the barriers and incentives involving native forest regeneration on Māori land and ETS deals.

The successful applicant will need to:

  • directly engage with Māori landowners interested in participating in the ETS;
  • provide some (basic) guidance in the ETS enrolment process; and
  • record the engagement process between land owners and carbon units purchasers.

They will not provide specific advice to landowners or purchasers, only information about the ETS and other parties. A project team of researchers from Motu and Hikurangi will support the role and other experts may be engaged by the parties involved to support negotiations for the ETS deals. The role will also support the project with a range of related tasks as required.

The person will be based in Tairāwhiti and be able to travel around the region and to Wellington on a regular basis. The successful applicant/s will have:

  • excellent written and verbal communication skills;
  • at least basic competence in Te Reo me ona Tikanga o Te Tairāwhiti;
  • the ability to successfully engage with Māori landowners and management/governance committees as well as corporate executives and management staff, lawyers and public officials;
  • the ability to travel to Wellington 1-2 days per month;
  • familiarity with, or willingness to learn about detailed aspects of the NZ Emissions Trading Scheme and related public policy;
  • familiarity with, or willingness to learn about Māori land management in Tairāwhiti;
  • great self-management skills,
  • the ability to work well without supervision, take initiative, create work plans, and complete tasks on time with available resources; and
  • hold a NZ driver’s license and have access to a vehicle for travel within Tairāwhiti.

Hours Per Month: 30 hrs/week (actual hours will be flexible based on the needs of the project and travel required)

Contract Value: $40,000 per annum – additional funds are available to cover some travel expenses.

This is a fixed term role for one year, extendable for one more year based on performance and the availability of funds. The role will be based on an Agreement for Service (contract) so it could be with a self-employed individual or a company. A more detailed role description with specific outcomes will be negotiated as part of the appointment process.

Expressions of interest should be submitted via email by 22 November 2017 as an applicant profile/CV with a cover letter outlining:

  • the applicant’s interest in and suitability for the role;
  • confirmation of how the role requirements align with the applicant’s relevant competencies, networks and experience; and
  • availability to start work.

To submit an application or for more information, contact:
Manu Caddie, Business Development Manager, Hikurangi Enterprises
Tel. 0274 202 957


Starting your career?

If you are starting your career you should check out the research analysts and interns page or see if you are eligible for a scholarship.

If you aren't eligible for an internship or RA position because you are heading overseas to do your PhD, you may be interested in the Statistics NZ Motu Programme for PhD Research. This will give you space at Motu for at least four months and free access to Statistics NZ's microeconomic data.

Are you a potential Fellow or Senior?

Motu welcomes approaches by potential Fellows or Senior Fellows. We will post a description of what we're looking for in Fellows shortly.

As a Senior Fellow you would be expected to have:

  • A PhD from an internationally recognised university,
  • A proven record as an excellent economic researcher,
  • The ability and willingness to attract funding for your research, and
  • The ability and commitment to support the values and objectives of Motu and its intellectual community.

If you are interested in becoming a senior fellow at Motu and would like more information, please contact Adam Jaffe or any of the Senior Fellows.

Are you interested in visiting Motu as a researcher?

Motu hosts top economic researchers visiting New Zealand, including those undertaking a sabbatical. Past visiting researchers from top universities have come to Motu to collaborate on research projects, have given seminars in Motu’s Public Policy Seminar Series, and made use of our resources and networks.

If you wish to be a visiting researcher, you can collaborate with Motu Senior Fellows and make use of Motu’s research and datasets. You are also able to utilise our networks with other researchers in New Zealand working in Universities or in Crown Research Institutes. Motu can also facilitate access to key people in government agencies.

If you are studying towards a PhD and wish to undertake an empirical research project using the microeconomic data on firms, households and individuals housed at Statistic NZ, you may wish to apply for the Statistics NZ Motu Programme for PhD Student Research.

Motu has very little funding to directly support visiting researchers, so you will likely need to source your own.

If you are interested in visiting Motu, please contact Adam Jaffe or any of the Senior Fellows.