Researcher, Writer and Communicator


The Helen Clark Foundation, launched March 2019, is a think tank based at AUT that is fast-becoming a trusted independent voice in Aotearoa New Zealand policy debates.

The Foundation is looking for a talented and enthusiastic researcher, writer and communicator to contribute to the vision of the Foundation. This full-time position is a one year fixed-term contract in partnership with WSP in New Zealand, commencing in February 2022. The contract may be renewed.

WSP is one of the world’s leading engineering professional services consulting firms, bringing together 55,000 talented people globally with over 2,000 in Aotearoa New Zealand. Technical experts who design and provide strategic advice on sustainable solutions, WSP engineers projects that will help societies grow for lifetimes to come.


The role

The WSP Research Fellow at the Helen Clark Foundation will help shape conversations about the issues that matter most to New Zealanders. To date, topics of interest have included loneliness, how we tap into and roll out the welcome mat to our diaspora in a post-pandemic world, sustainable cities and transport policy through a lens which values equity and seeks better outcomes for Māori and Pacific peoples. The successful candidate will thoroughly research and deliver in-depth analytical pieces on key topics and develop this information to be used across a variety of channels. The successful candidate will also communicate their research findings to decision makers.


Who are we looking for?

You will have excellent research, writing and presentation skills with the ability to gather, interpret and communicate information in an engaging and compelling way to decision makers. Political acumen is a must, and a background in economics is desirable but not essential. Public sector, media and policy experience are also an asset but not essential.

You will be committed to the efforts of the Foundation to respect Te Tiriti o Waitangi and promote inclusion.

Excellent communication and storytelling skills will ensure that you’re able to convey research in ways that are relatable and meaningful to diverse stakeholder groups.

You’ll be able to demonstrate experience in persuading different stakeholders, the ability to stay within project scope and deliver to deadlines.

A relevant degree is essential, as is an interest in public policy issues.

To be a good fit for this position you will be adaptable, composed under pressure, comfortable interacting with a wide range of stakeholders including media and respond well to challenges. This job will also require access to work sites and events that require COVID 19 vaccination.

If you are a highly motivated individual keen to use your communication skills to make a difference for Aotearoa New Zealand, this could be the ideal position for you!


Salary band

$90,000-$110,000, depending on experience. We are open to flexible working arrangements, including working from home and flexible or reduced hours – the majority of our staff work flexibly and this is not a problem. Please tell us how you would like to work.


Office space can be provided in Auckland at the Foundation offices, Wellington based applicants can also be considered if willing to work from home.



Applications close December 2 2021 at 9am. All applications must be emailed to [email protected].

Please email your CV and cover letter addressed to Executive Director Kathy Errington and include a writing sample with your application. Interviews will be on December 6-7.