Benefits of working at MPI

At the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), we’re proud of the work our passionate and dedicated people do to provide prosperity and sustainability, and to help protect Aotearoa New Zealand.

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In this video, you’ll hear some of the reasons our staff love working for MPI.

They might be reasons you’ll love working for us too.

Reasons to love working at MPI

An infographic depicting reasons why our people love working at MPI.


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Our people love that they can prosper

He pai ki a rātou te āhei kia puāwai i reira

MPI invests in our people’s ongoing professional development through a range of learning and development programmes. The opportunities to learn and grow are as varied as the careers we offer.

We encourage and support our people to be the best they can be in their current role, to develop their skills and competencies for roles that may be ahead of them, and to foster lifelong learning.

Many of the development opportunities provided by MPI are focused ‘on the job’, such as project work, secondments and mentoring.

Technical skill development

Developing and maintaining technical knowledge is one of our focus areas. You’ll have the opportunity to expand the skills you bring to MPI through our training programmes. Frontline training, for example, is focused on developing the knowledge and skills required for operational roles, which is applied at MPI worksites and is practically oriented.

MPI Capability Framework

Capability isn’t just about technical skills and knowledge. Success in a role also requires behavioural skills, and certain personal attributes and attitudes. MPI’s Capability Framework describes those aspects of capability and is used in recruitment, performance management and development.

Developing our people and thought leaders

Identifying and growing our leadership capability is critical to MPI’s success. We know that organisations with strong leaders perform well. While not everyone wants to be a leader, we’re committed to providing people who do with opportunities to understand their strengths and development needs, and we develop thought leaders too.

We do this through our leadership assessment process, then use our development programmes to help them become even better leaders – both internally run by our team of experts, and with external organisations such as Outward Bound and others. MPI offers a range of management and leadership training, depending on your level and experience. These range from the Aspiring Leaders programme, for people who aren’t in leadership roles yet, to programmes for our very experienced and senior leaders.

Our people love that they can spread their wings

He pai ki a rātou te āhei ki te para i ngā huarahi hou

MPI’s Career Pathways

MPI’s Career Pathways aim to make career opportunities and progression across MPI clear to everyone. The pathways outline possible career progression in MPI and also describe the developmental opportunities that MPI provides to support them.

Mentoring and coaching for development

We provide mentoring and coaching programmes for all MPI people. Our mentoring programme supports our diverse and inclusive workplace – encouraging the sharing of different perspectives, and making use of our valuable people resource to pair people up who can learn and grow together. Our coaching programme engages with external, professional coaches situated around the country and is focused on improving performance at work and developing skills.

International careers at MPI

MPI has representatives across the world in 13 international locations – Beijing, Tokyo, London, Geneva, Washington, Rome, Dubai, Brussels, Mexico City, New Delhi, Jakarta and Ha Noi. We also have people based in Taipei on full immersion Mandarin language training.

The roles we have offshore represent MPI and New Zealand’s primary industries and will work to build relationships with overseas governments and counterparts to create opportunities with international markets. These roles predominantly focus on market access, international policy, and New Zealand’s trading opportunities, with some dedicated to a particular focus area. It is vital that we have the right staff with the right skills and capabilities to be posted offshore.

An offshore role can provide our people with many amazing experiences – the opportunity to live and work offshore, the ability to build relationships and have direct exposure to the markets that impact on New Zealand’s trading environment.

Study assistance

MPI provides study assistance for our people whose course of study is relevant to the work of MPI. This enhances MPI’s effectiveness and facilitates the growth and development of the individual and MPI as a whole. Assistance can include financial assistance, and allowing leave for study and tests.

Our people love that they get a balance

He pai ki a rātou te whiwhi taurite i te mahi

Flexible working

We’ll never tell you to “get a life” at MPI, because we know you’ve already got one.

MPI supports flexible working. Instead of asking “why” a role should be made flexible, we ask “why not?” Making a request for flexible working is a right, not a benefit, for everyone regardless of age, gender, role, or reason.

Flexible work is for everyone, but everyone’s version of flexible work will be different, depending on individual needs, as well as role and business needs.

Some of the ways MPI people choose to work flexibly include working part-time, working from home, a 9-day fortnight and term-time working. We also offer our people the option to purchase extra annual leave (salary sacrifice), there are generous benefits associated with parental leave, as well as 3 additional leave days to be used between Christmas and New Year (for most staff).

Parent and whānau benefits

When life changes, MPI is here to help out. Parental leave can be available for the parents (or the permanent nominated primary carer/s) taking responsibility for the care, development and upbringing of a child under the age of 6 years – including dads, mums, partners or mātua whāngai. We want to support and enable parents and caregivers, regardless of gender, to play equal roles in building successful careers and nurturing their families.

MPI offers a generous return-to-work incentive payment when you return from parental leave and have completed a further 3 months’ work (full- or part-time) – because we know a little extra always helps. While you are on parental leave we’ll keep accruing your annual leave based on the normal salary you would be getting if you were working, this means when you come back you’ll have a positive leave balance waiting for you. And your pay reviews continue while you’re on parental leave as we recognise that you’re still gaining skills and experience even when you’re away from the workforce. We want to ensure you’re included even when you’re away.

Our people love that we help them protect their well-being

He pai ki a rātou ka tiakina tō rātou oranga

We really do look after our people.

Annual wellness payment

We have an annual wellness payment which allows our people to claim reimbursement of up to $200 each year for a health or fitness initiative.

Eye care

MPI supports the management of eye care and early detection of any problems. This support can include an assessment of your workstation, an MPI-paid eye test once every 2 years and a contribution to the costs of corrective lenses/frames.

Access to group healthcare schemes

We offer our people group healthcare schemes with discounted rates through:

Personal counselling

MPI works with EAP Services who provide 24-hour counselling support on a confidential basis to our employees and their immediate families who have personal problems that may disrupt their work and/or home life. Qualified counsellors are provided to enable employees to resolve or come to terms with their personal problems.

EAP Services

Our people love that they are respected and protected

He pai ki a rātou te mōhio kei te whakautehia, kei te tiakina hoki

An inclusive and diverse workplace means a lot to MPI

Here at MPI, we encourage an inclusive and diverse workplace where difference is championed, and we’re an employer of choice because of it. We recruit, grow and retain talented, engaged and motivated people who actively contribute towards an environment where everyone feels welcome and valued.

Employee network groups

Our employee network groups are voluntary groups of staff formed with common interests and objectives to enhance the workplace experience of our diverse communities, and to raise the profile of these communities. We want everyone at MPI to be able to bring their whole selves to work, and we want to support people to be the best version of themselves. Our groups include Te Tauaki Puāwai (MPI’s Māori network), Women’s Network (Ngā Wāhine Toa), Primary Pride (LGBTQIA+ network), MPI-Customs Asian Network, Primary Pasifika, and our Accessibility and Wellbeing Network.

Social clubs

Some of our sites have very active social clubs. They run a wide variety of functions throughout the year for both members, non-members, and – in some cases – their partners.

Union representation

MPI works with 4 unions who represent our people and their employment – the Public Service Association (PSA), the National Union of Public Employees (NUPE), the Professional Verifiers’ Institute (PVI) and the Border Ops Association (BOA).

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