Working at Motu

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

Communications Advisor 

We seek an experienced communications professional to plan and lead our outreach and communications efforts and support the Director in fundraising activities.

Motu Economic and Public Policy Research was established to promote informed debate on public policy issues relevant to New Zealand decision making. We believe careful and unbiased research of policy issues and the economic system, when shared with policymakers and the public, leads to better policy choices.

Motu is among the top ten economic think tanks and top ten climate think tanks in the world. Our researchers are passionate about undertaking and disseminating high-quality policy-relevant research independent of any political agenda. Every piece of Motu research is made publicly available free of charge. Motu researchers value the opportunity to pursue quality research in a setting with none of the bureaucracy of a university. Our organisational structure is flat, our office culture casual, committed and collegial. We’re a small group that functions largely as a cooperative; we support each other as we pursue common goals in our individual ways.

The ideal candidate will bring their unique skill set to deliver positive ideas and innovation to our communications and fundraising strategy, and will have:

  • a passion for improving the quality of public discussion around public policy issues in New Zealand;
  • demonstrated a talent for communications, including active use of social media, with a nose for news and engaging stories over a range of channels;
  • strong writing skills and ability to create clear and compelling content dealing with complex problems and quantitative analysis;
  • an interest in translating first class communications and engagement to income generation;
  • some experience in managing internal communications in a small team; and
  • a basic understanding of design and some facility with InDesign and Photoshop.

Training in economics is not necessary, but a willingness and ability to understand economic analysis and help communicate it is essential.

If you are an energetic self-starter who would enjoy working as part of a team of professionals dedicated to a mission, we would be keen to hear from you.

Salary: $70-90,000 FTE (dependent on experience)
Hours: between 25-40 hours per week

Before applying, please register at Do Good Jobs to access the job description. Please email a cover letter and CV to If you have questions, get in touch with our current comms person on 021 243 6995. 

Deadline: 12 December 2019.

Are you a potential Fellow or Senior Fellow?

Motu welcomes approaches by potential Research Fellows or Senior Fellows. We expect successful Fellows to build their own network of funded work in New Zealand and/or internationally.

Research Fellow

We are currently seeking applicants for the position of Research Fellow. Fellows engage in applied economic research on topics of policy relevance, working collaboratively with Senior Fellows and Research Analysts. Candidates should have or be completing a PhD with demonstrated ability to carry out careful, high-quality, policy-relevant research. Successful Fellows also have:

  • an interest in working with policy-makers and other stakeholders,
  • a broad range of economic interests, 
  • a desire to work on important issues in a team environment, and
  • the ability and commitment to support the values and objectives of Motu and its intellectual community.

Applicants should send 3 papers and 3 letters of recommendation to the If you have any questions, please contact any of the Senior Fellows.

Senior Fellow

If you are interested in a Senior Fellow position 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 either of these positions at Motu and would like more information, please contact 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 any of the Senior Fellows.