The Ministry of Justice Policy Graduate Programme

Kahore tetahi o tatou, taea te mahi, nga mahi e taea o tatou katoa
Not one of us alone can do the job as well as all of us working together

Are you motivated to make a difference for all New Zealanders? Come and join the Ministry working for justice – Tāhū o Te Ture.

The Ministry of Justice Policy Group is pleased to open applications for the first intake of its new Policy Graduate Programme, with successful applicants to begin full-time work in February 2022.

Who are we looking for?

We are looking for a diverse range of graduates to join the 12-month programme as Policy Advisors from February 2022. This is a permanent, full-time position and on completion of the Graduate Programme you will continue in a permanent Policy Advisor role.

We are seeking people from a range of backgrounds and fields of study, who are in their final year of tertiary study this year or have recently graduated, as well as those who have some work experience. If you have an interest in justice issues, are passionate about making a difference, and would like to kick-start your career in the public sector, then we want to hear from you!

We are looking for people who:

  • want to make a difference,
  • bring strong communication and problem-solving skills,
  • are approachable and can build strong working relationships,
  • enjoy working as part of a team as well as independently, and
  • are quick learners who can manage their time and seek guidance when needed.

We are actively seeking a diverse applicant pool, with a variety of life experiences. You don’t have to have a law degree to apply - we are looking for graduates from a range of disciplines including but not limited to public policy, social sciences, economics and law.

The Policy Group is constantly working on improving its cultural capability, so an understanding of Te Ao Māori and Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and the ability to apply this to your work, is particularly valuable.

Why work in MOJ Policy?

Working at Tāhū o te Ture – the Ministry of Justice gives you the chance to make a real difference. Working for Justice means you’re working for the fairness and credibility of our justice system and the society it represents.

MOJ’s Policy Group researches issues and provides advice to Ministers that shape the Government's justice policies. Our work is diverse and broad-ranging, with opportunities to influence thinking and drive change across our justice and social sectors.

Being a Policy Advisor in the MOJ Policy Group is an ideal first step into your career in the public service. Graduate Advisors can expect to benefit from:

  • Insight into, and hands-on experience with, policy development and justice sector research at the coalface of Ministerial decision making;
  • A comprehensive induction and training programme, on-the-job learning opportunities, and support and coaching from more senior policy advisors;
  • Being part of a supportive group of graduates all starting out their public sector careers; and
  • Public service experience in a Government department committed to making a real difference to all New Zealanders.

What is Policy Group?

Policy Group made up of four core units:

  • the Civil and Constitutional Unit provides advice on the long-term legitimacy of New Zealand’s constitutional foundations, and supports the public service to progress democratic principles, the rule of law, and human rights. It also advises on core civil law matters, such as property rights and contract law, electoral law and policy (supporting General Elections) and privacy policy.
  • the Criminal Justice Unit provides an oversight of the criminal justice system. This is through regulatory stewardship of the key legislation and policy leadership of critical domestic and international criminal justice issues
  • the Courts and Justice Services Policy Unit focusses on legislation to provide an effective framework for courts and tribunals. It also works on policy related to family law and legal aid, ensuring that people have faster, easier, and more effective access to justice
  • the Office of the Deputy Secretary supports the Policy Leadership Team by providing analytical advice, resource capability and capacity analysis, finance and budgeting oversight, recruitment, procurement guidance and supports on several other matters.

What will you be doing as a Policy Advisor?

You'll have two six-month placements in different Policy teams, and will be working alongside advisors:

  • providing research and developing advice on interesting, varied, and complex policy problems
  • participating in team meetings and discussions, with the opportunity to shadow senior team members, and
  • bringing new perspectives and contributing to a workplace that respects and values diversity and innovative thinking.

Apply for a position

Applications for our 2022 Graduate Programme have now closed, please keep an eye out in August 2022 when we will be looking for applications for the 2023 programme.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have to be a Law student to work at the Ministry of Justice?

The Ministry of Justice employs people from a range of backgrounds, levels of tertiary study and fields of study. If you have an interest in justice issues, are passionate about making a difference, and would like to kick-start your career in the public sector, then we want to hear from you!

What is the pay?

The payband starts at $54,689 per year.

What happens at the end of the twelve month Graduate Programme?

This is a full-time, permanent position. On completion of the Graduate Programme your employment will continue in a permanent Policy Advisor role.

What if I have more questions?

Get in touch with us at