View Vacancy - NZW - Personal Assistant to the Defence Adviser, A2(L) (Part-time)

The British Government is an inclusive and diversity-friendly employer.  We value difference, promote equality and challenge discrimination, enhancing our organisational capability. We welcome and encourage applications from people of all backgrounds. We do not discriminate on the basis of disability, race, colour, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, age, veteran status or other category protected by law. We promote family-friendly flexible working opportunities, where operational and security needs allow.
Other British Government Departments (Partners across Government, including UK Visas)
MOD (Ministry of Defence)

To provide high quality administrative support to the Defence Adviser and assist the Executive Manager (EM).  This position is responsible for ensuring that critical admin and financial functions related to the smooth running of the Defence Section are actively managed independently of the DA.  The position holder will work with limited supervision to complete tasks.

Key Activities

Support the Defence Adviser (DA) by providing efficient and effective personal assistance in areas such as:-

Admin/Secretarial assistance:

  • Assist with the organisation of itineraries for overseas visitors to NZ, booking accommodation, flights etc where necessary
  • Screen the DA’s emails in his absence and submit responses where appropriate
  • Draft ‘thank you’ letters
  • Read through speeches and reports making any amendments
  • Manage telephone calls and deal with appropriately

 Diary Management - manage all aspects of the DA’s diary: 

  • Arrange meetings/breakfast/lunches for the DA with NZDF personnel and overseas visitors, coordinating with the Social Secretary, Chauffeur, Receptionist and Security Guard. 
  • Organise internal meetings, liaising with staff, collate briefing and information ahead of meetings.
  • Screen all invitations and accept/decline accordingly 

Travel and accommodation:

  • Book all domestic and international flights along with accommodation

Organising social events/engagements:

  • Arrange events for the DA

Provide general office assistance in the form of:

  • Distribution of mail to Exchange Officers
  • Order stationery as required
  • Lead on hotel and flight bookings for UK military personnel in the wider environment
  • Maintain hospitality and gift book
  • Maintenance of the Defence Section publications

Support the DA in the preparation of the monthly report.  Updating the Defence Section Plan and Outlook with relevant information. 

Take decisions to ensure funds are spent appropriately and within policy.  Keep records of all financial transactions for audit.  Archive paperwork in line with guidelines on documentation retention.

Propose and plan defence activities putting budgets in place and project plans.  

Coordinate military/diplomatic representation at commemorative events including organising a wreath, accommodation/flights and checking if speech is required.

Assist the EM in organising MOD financed courses in the Pacific region.  Prepare and keep within the set budget. Source and organise a location for the course. Arrange travel and accommodation for instructors and students.  Prepare course documentation, certificates and any other requirements for students.

Prepare and process official documentation on behalf of the Defence Adviser using own initiative and judgement on the level of detail required in each instance.

Monitor the DA’s email Inbox along with the EM.  Take responsibility for those emails which can be dealt with and advise the DA/EM of the action taken.  Bring urgent or important emails to the DA’s attention or in their absence escalate to other relevant senior members within the BHC.

Provide assistance to UK MOD/Defence Sales Organisation/British Defence Intelligence Liaison Officer (MoD/DSO/BDILO) visitors and assist with preparing visit programme’s as required.

Make logistical arrangements, including catering and visa waiver requests, for groups of UK Military personnel as required for deployments such as EX LONGLOOK and EX PACIFIC KUKRI.

Plan and organise Open Day for EX PACIFIC KUKRI. 

Process security clearances and NZeTA’s for all UK visitors to NZ MOD and New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) establishments.  Advise BHC personnel of the incoming visitors when relevant.

Monitor social media for defence related activities taking place within New Zealand and across the south Pacific.

Undertake research and prepare reports for the DA as required.

Organise own workloads and be responsible for managing own time with minimal supervision. Be ready to undertake tasks at the last minute or which require urgent attention.

Maintain the electronic filing system and procedures for BDLS, together with maintenance of the general tidiness of the office. 

Support the DA in achieving the Defence Section’s objectives for the year by focusing on the overall goal.

During periods of absence provide cover for the Executive Manager and the DA.

Be prepared to identify issues with policy and procedure and suggested alternative ways of working.

Assisting FCO colleagues on 1HMG projects when requested and available.

  • Excellent written communication skills with demonstrated experience in the preparation of written reports
  • Knowledge of budgets and financial systems
  • Well developed verbal communication skills, with an excellent telephone manner and an emphasis on achieving diplomatic resolution to issues
  • The ability to liaise and communicate with, and influence, a variety of personnel (including senior uniformed  military and civilian management ) within NZDF and MOD
  • Self-motivated, with excellent planning and organisation skills, together with the ability to prioritise tasks and schedules to meet timeframe and effectively manage changing priorities autonomously
  • High proficiency in Office 365 (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook, Teams and OneNote) with excellent keyboard skills
  • A high level of accuracy and attention to detail
  • An ability to work independently and demonstrated ability to make decisions using sound judgement with limited or no supervision or direction
  • An ability to work collaboratively within a team environment to give and to take direction from others
  • Strong personal attributes of self-leadership, professional presentation, positive attitude, with a mature manner and personality
  • To work extended hours in support of the Defence Adviser as required
  • A minimum of 2 years experience in a diverse administrative support role with good budget management skills
  • A good working knowledge of UK Defence, MOD and New Zealand Defence Force and associated military organisational structures
Seeing the Big Picture, Changing and Improving, Making Effective Decisions, Leading and Communicating, Collaborating and Partnering, Delivering Value for Money
10 January 2020
A2 (L)
Part-Time, Permanent
Asia Pacific
New Zealand
British High Commission
NZ$62,505 per annum (pro rata to reflect hours worked)
3 February 2020

This is a permanent part-time role. Daily working hours can be discussed but must total 24 hours per week.

There are mandatory FCO courses which need to be completed and there will be opportunity to complete the Foundation Level of the Diplomatic Academy.  Other training will be offered as and when deemed necessary.

Appointment is subject to a 90 day trial period pursuant to section 67A of the Employment Relations Act 2000 and gaining and maintaining Posts security clearance requirements.

Open to New Zealand citizens and permanent residents. Employment offers are subject to successful clearance of pre-employment checks. No accommodation or relocation expenses are payable in connection with this position. Candidates must have or be able to obtain work authorisation for New Zealand in order to apply.

Staff recruited locally by the High Commission are subject to Terms and Conditions of Service according to local New Zealand employment law.  Only short-listed applicants will be contacted regarding the next phase of the selection process.  To those applicants not short-listed, we extend our appreciation for considering the British Government as a potential employer.

For more information on the work of the British High Commission, visit our website -

All applications must be received before 23:55 (NZDT), 10 January 2020.

Applications must address experience against the role responsibilities and required competencies in the cover letter and also include a current CV.

Incomplete application forms will not be taken into consideration, so please ensure you provide the information requested. We regret to advise that we will only be contacting short-listed candidates. Applicants called for an interview will be assessed on the core competencies listed above.

Please be aware that you will only be able to apply to vacancies for Local Staff roles with the British Government through this official site (operated by Oleeo). Jobs may be advertised on third party websites, however our adverts will always link back to the official site. If you complete and send an application through any other site, we will not receive it.