Scientist - Freshwater Ecology

At the Otago Regional Council (ORC), our mission is ‘for our future’. We’re here to protect and enhance the environment and enable our communities to do the same. To be sure we can deliver on our responsibilities, we are evolving as an organisation, and we’re not overstating when we say we have some really big targets to reach. We need the right people, in the right roles, to help us to get there.

The Opportunity

Here in Otago we’ve got a pretty special environment, and ORC are committed to working with our communities to ensure it stays that way now, and for our future. Our science team plays a critical role in this, and they are currently on the look-out for a motivated environmental scientist to join them as a Freshwater Ecologist. This important role is to assist with effective management of Otago’s natural freshwater resources by evaluating ecological data, comparing with relevant standards or reference guidelines and interpretation of results, developing monitoring strategies and keeping us abreast of freshwater legislative and practice use changes both locally and nationally.

Position Description

About You

The successful candidate for this position will have excellent communication skills, a strong desire to protect and improve our natural resources and have an affinity for maintaining and building on networking and stakeholder relationships. Ideally, you will have knowledge of New Zealand's ecological context with emphasis on freshwater environments and the ability to apply this knowledge to determine environmental status, assessment of environmental effects, develop action plans andeffective mitigation strategies. You will be able to translate scientific concepts into advice and ultimately solutions that are easily understood We're looking for someone who is a team player, collaborative and innovative and who will have the maturity and confidence to represent ORC’s viewpoint to various community and stakeholder groups and ensure the scientific integrity and credibility of the Council is upheld.

Specifically, our preferred candidate will have:

  • A PhD or postgraduate research qualification in Science or a relevant discipline
  • An appreciation, understanding and respect for te ao Māori and Mātauranga Māori.
  • Knowledge of the Treaty of Waitangi.
  • Knowledge of the Resource Management Act, the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management (NPS FM) and of the legislation and standards around drinking water in New Zealand
  • Ideally 3-5 years’ technical and research experience in freshwater quality and ecology, and 2 years’ experience in a local government setting
  • Experience in project and contract management and consultant relationships.

We think Otago’s a special place. It covers a vast area – the third largest local government region in New Zealand. Those who call Otago home enjoy access to mountains, coastal lowlands, dramatic rivers and wild beaches. Our environment here is part of who we are, and at ORC, we work each day to look after it.

If you share this passion and can align your skills and experience to what we’ve outlined above, we would love to hear from you!

How to Apply

Please complete the online application form for the position that you are applying for, attach your cover letter and CV detailing your relevant qualifications and experience and submit.

For further information, please contact

Applications close Thursday 4th March 2021.

Apply online now >>

Please note. We don’t always work to fixed closing dates and may start considering and interviewing candidates as their applications are received so we encourage you to apply early.

If you are having problems submitting your details through the online form, please email

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