Principal Adviser, Strategic Epidemiology

About MPI
Mō Tātou

Biosecurity New Zealand is part of the Ministry for Primary Industries, the public service department of New Zealand charged with overseeing, managing and regulating the farming, fishing, food, animal welfare, biosecurity, and forestry sectors of New Zealand's primary industries.

At MPI we are responsible for ‘Growing and Protecting New Zealand'. It's no mean feat and we have a team of hard working and dedicated people in a variety of roles supporting us to make this happen. MPI's services ensure New Zealand is protected from biological risk and that the food New Zealand businesses produce is safe for us to consume. 

About the role
Kōrero mō te tūranga
The Mycoplasma bovis Programme has been operating since July 2018. Our environment is dynamic, and continually changing. We're passionate about what we do. Reporting to The Programme Director this role presents an exciting and challenging opportunity to work with senior leaders and like-minded colleagues who are making a difference and helping to build a sustainable and profitable future for New Zealand's beef and dairy sectors. To thrive you will be comfortable operating at a strategic level within government, enjoy working at pace, and have a high attention to detail. 

We are looking to bring in an experienced epidemiologist at a strategic level to provide leadership and input to a cross-functional team of epidemiologists, veterinary surgeons, programme and technical support staff who are working together with industry, delivery partners and farmers toward a world first eradication of Mycoplasma bovis.

Major responsibilities will include:

  • Leading the design, delivery and management of epidemiological contracts, developing text with science procurement, assessing suppliers and co-ordinating and reviewing analytical epidemiology projects within the M .bovis programme.
  • Strategic oversight of M. bovis epidemiology, evaluation performance and science direction so any course adjustments can be suggested and discussed. 
  • Liaising with senior global stakeholders on programme design and project needs; acting as a liaison point for the genomics work.
  • Functional leadership and oversight of a virtual network of epidemiologists and veterinary surgeons working at a strategic, tactical and operational level
  • Provide advice on the use of National Animal Identification and Tracing (NAIT) data to enable and inform the disease response and leave New Zealand's biosecurity system stronger
  • Provision of documents and reports to the independent Technical Advisory Group (TAG)
  • Respond to Official Information Act requests and briefings for Ministers and officials
  • Providing technical input to governance and writing papers for governance, editing epi papers for governance.
  • Responsibility for delivering findings to the Strategic Science Advisory Group (SSAG), Chairman of the SAG and the Director of the M. bovis programme.
  • Provision of an expert response to requests on disease response preparedness especially in relation to databases and tracking the right metrics.

What you'll need to succeed
Ngā Pūkenga me ngā Wheako

  • Veterinary undergraduate degree and post graduate qualification in Veterinary Epidemiology
  • Knowledge of/experience with animal health surveillance systems development and/or management
  • Data management, integration and analysis skills
  • Knowledge of or experience with disease spread modelling
  • High level internal and external stakeholder management and relationship building
  • Knowledge of animal disease response
  • Advanced written and verbal communication and presentation skills
  • Project planning and management skills
  • Computer literacy particularly in MS suite including ACCESS, Excel, and statistical packages 

Benefits of working at MPI
Ngā hua o te Mahi i te Manatū Ahu Matua

This is an exciting and unique opportunity to work at a strategic level on a world first disease eradication programme, in an innovative team with a highly collaborative working atmosphere, and a generous pay rate.

See the benefits of working at MPI 

This role has the option of being offered to the successful candidate as either Permanent role or a Fixed Term Contract until December 2020, if you would like further information on how this works, please get in touch with 

How to Apply
Me pēhea te tuku tono

To apply for this role you must hold the right to work in New Zealand or be eligible to obtain it.  To view the position description click Position Description or to apply for the role please visit the MPI Careers Site. For tracking and reporting purposes, all applications must be submitted through our online careers portal. For detailed information on this role please refer to the position description.

Applications close Sunday 13 October 2019

The Ministry for Primary Industries is committed to providing a working environment that embraces and values inclusion and diversity. Your unique talents and experience will help us deliver exceptional services to our communities in Aotearoa. In return you'll enjoy an inclusive and flexible working environment in a diverse team of people while you're growing your career here in NZ and internationally. We actively encourage applications from all backgrounds. If you have any support or access requirements, we encourage you to tell us when you apply so that we can assist you through the recruitment process.


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