How to Apply for a Job with New Zealand's Local Government

How to Apply for a Job with New Zealand’s Local Government

Want a job with the local government in New Zealand? You’re on the right page – today, we’ll show you exactly how you can get one.

Below is a step-by-step tutorial on how to effectively apply for a position with New Zealand’s local government. We’ll guide you through every step of the process!

DifficultyDifficult  ●●●●●
Number of steps7 steps
Time to performFew hours to several days 
Things you need• Any digital device (laptop, phone, or tablet)
• Paper and pen
• Corporate or smart casual attire

STEP 1: Find a job that interests you

Before applying for a job in the local government, you need to decide which type of job you are interested in because there is a wide range of positions available.

Listed below are some examples of job positions in the local government, along with their tasks and average annual income:

1. Administrative

PositionTasksAverage Annual Income in NZD
Administrative OfficerProviding administrative support, managing paperwork, organizing meetings and appointments, and maintaining accurate records.$52,888
Customer Service RepresentativeResponding to customer inquiries, resolving issues, and providing information about local government services and policies.$50,279
ReceptionistGreeting visitors, answering phone calls, and managing the reception area.$47,426

2. Clerical

PositionTasksAverage Annual Income in NZD
Records OfficerMaintaining and organizing government records, ensuring that they are accurate and up-to-date, and managing document retrieval and storage.$75,000
Data Entry OperatorEntering data into government databases and systems, ensuring that the information is accurate and up-to-date.$49,695
Executive AssistantProviding administrative support to senior government officials, managing paperwork, organizing meetings, and handling correspondence.$67,986

3. Technical

PositionTasksAverage Annual Income in NZD
Civil EngineerDesigning and overseeing the construction of government infrastructure projects, such as roads, bridges, and buildings, and ensuring that they meet safety standards and regulations.$72,580
Environmental Health OfficerInvestigating health hazards and violations of environmental health regulations, enforcing government policies and standards, and conducting inspections and audits.$76,302
SurveyorConducting surveys and measurements of land and property, analyzing and interpreting survey data, and preparing reports and maps.$76,638

4. Professional

PositionTasksAverage Annual Income in NZD
Town PlannerDeveloping and implementing plans for land use, growth, and development in local government areas, ensuring that they align with government policies and regulations, and engaging with stakeholders to gather input and feedback.$72,019
Senior Policy AdvisorProviding strategic policy advice to government officials and elected representatives, researching and analyzing policy issues and options, developing policy proposals and recommendations, and ensuring that policies align with government objectives and priorities.$99,584

These are just a small number of possible job titles within each category.

There are numerous other positions and postings available within New Zealand’s local government that could fit into these or other categories too.

STEP 2: Check for job vacancies

You may look for job opportunities in local government by visiting your local council’s website.

Most government websites have a careers section with information on current vacancies and how to apply.

Here are some helpful sites where you can find job vacancies in the local government of New Zealand:

1.'s Homepage

This is the official New Zealand government job website, where you can find vacancies in the local government sector as well as other government agencies.

How to Find Jobs on
• Go to the website.Enter a keyword for the type of job you’re looking for and select the location where you want to work.
• Click the “Search” button.Browse the job listings and click on the job title that interests you.
• Read the job description, requirements, and application instructions, then follow the steps to submit your application.

2. Indeed

Indeed's Homepage

This is a popular job search website where you can find job vacancies in the local government sector in New Zealand. 

How to Find Jobs on Indeed
• Go to and click on “Advanced Job Search” under the search bar.
• In the “Where” section, type in “New Zealand” and choose the desired location.
• In the “What” section, type in “local government” or the specific job title you are looking for.
• Apply any additional filters such as salary, job type, and experience level.
• Browse through the search results and click on the job titles that interest you to learn more and apply.

3. Seek

Seek's Homepage

This is another popular job search website where you can find job openings in the local government sector in New Zealand.

How to Find Jobs on Seek
• Go to the Seek website and create an account.Enter the job title and location in the search bar.
• Use the filters to refine your search by industry, job type, salary, and experience level.
• Browse through the job postings and select the ones that match your qualifications and interests.
• Apply for the jobs that you are interested in by submitting your resume and cover letter through the website or following the application instructions provided.

STEP 3: Check the minimum credentials required

There are minimum credentials required for a New Zealander to apply for a job in the local government of New Zealand, and this may vary depending on the specific job and the council that is hiring.

However, here are some general minimum requirements that may be expected:

  • Citizenship or residency To work in the local government in New Zealand, you need to be a New Zealand citizen or have permanent residency status.
  • Age – You must be at least 18 years old to work in the local government.
  • Qualifications – The qualifications required for a job in local government will depend on the specific role. Some roles may require specific degrees, certifications, or licenses.
  • Skills and experience The local government may require certain skills and experience for specific roles. For example, a job in administration may require strong computer and communication skills, while a job in engineering may require specific technical expertise.
  • Background checks The local government may require background checks such as police checks, credit checks, or medical checks as part of the recruitment process.
Tip: It’s important to carefully review the job description and requirements of the specific job you are interested in to determine if you meet the minimum qualifications.

STEP 4: Prepare your application 

Once you have found a job that you are interested in and met the minimum credentials for, you will need to prepare your application.

This involves submitting a cover letter and CV, along with any other supporting documents that may be required. 

1. What supporting documents do you need for your application?

To apply for a local government job in New Zealand, you generally need supporting documents that will verify your identity, qualifications, and other important information.

The specific documents you need to provide depend on the council that you’re applying for.

As an example, for a job application with the Auckland Council, you need to provide supporting documents such as:

  • Proof of identity (e. G. passport, driver’s license)
  • Proof of residency or citizenship status
  • Academic transcripts, diplomas, and certificates
  • Police clearance certificate or criminal record check

The Auckland Council may also require applicants to undergo pre-employment checks such as reference checks, alcohol testing or drug tests, so be prepared to provide additional information or documentation as needed.

2. How do you write a good cover letter for your application?

To write a good cover letter, you should start by researching about the job and the organization, to make it more specifically fit for the position that you’re applying for.

Here are some helpful tips on how to create a good cover letter:

  • Research the job and organization -This is to personalize your cover letter, show an understanding of the organization’s values/goals.
  • Address to a specific person – Use “Dear Hiring Manager” or “To Whom It May Concern” if you’re unsure.
  • Start with an attention-grabbing intro – Highlight qualifications and interest in the job to show why you’re fit for the position.
  • Highlight skills and experience – Use examples to demonstrate qualifications and alignment with job requirements.
  • Close with a strong call-to-action – Request an interview or meeting to discuss qualifications.
  • Edit and proofread – Check for errors and ensure tone/style matches the position you’re applying for.
Tip: Take time to personalize your letter to the exact position and company, and emphasize your relevant abilities and expertise. Best of Luck!

3. How can you create an impressive resume?

To make an excellent resume, you should highlight your relevant skills and experience that match the job requirements. You must also format it in a way that is easy to read and process.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when creating a resume for a job in the local government of New Zealand:

  • Resume Format – Use a clear, chronological, or combination resume format with bullet points to highlight key achievements and responsibilities.
  • Personal Information – Include your relevant personal details, such as name and contact information.
  • Work Experience – List in reverse chronological order with the name of the organization, job title, dates of employment, and a brief summary of your responsibilities and accomplishments.
  • Education and Qualifications – List your degrees, diplomas, and certificates, and any relevant professional development courses.
  • Skills and Abilities – Highlight relevant skills and abilities such as communication, problem-solving, and computer skills.
  • Referees – Include the names and contact details of at least two professional references.

It is important to customize your resume to the specific job you are applying for and include the relevant job description keywords. 

Tip: Make sure to proofread your resume carefully and have it reviewed by someone else before submitting your application.

STEP 5: Submit your application.

You can typically submit your application online through the council’s careers website. Make sure you follow the instructions provided and include all the necessary documents.

Here are some tips on submitting your application for a job in the local government of New Zealand:

  • Follow instructions – Submit required documents and information and follow formatting and submission requirements.
  • Provide references – Have at least two professional references ready.
  • Follow up – If you don’t hear back within a few weeks, politely inquire about the application status via email or phone.
Tip: Remember to always present yourself professionally while demonstrating your enthusiasm for the job. In other words, remind yourself to be polite and positive!

STEP 6: Attend the interview 

If your application is successful, you will be invited to attend the interview. This is an opportunity for the council to get to know you better and assess your suitability for the job.

Here are some important things that you need to remember before attending an interview:

  • Research the council – Research the council and showcase your knowledge of the local issues and the cultural values that are important in New Zealand and that particular council.
  • Dress appropriately – Show respect for the employer and the job opportunity by dressing appropriately. Business casual is usually advised.
  • Be punctual – Arrive 10-15 minutes early to show that you are prepared, reliable, and interested in the job.
  • Ask questions – Prepare questions to ask the interviewer to show your interest in the council and the job. For example, ask about whether or not there’s a system in place that you may have to follow if you get hired, or what projects they currently have going.
  • Send a thank-you note – Send a thank-you email or note after the interview to express your gratitude and reaffirm your interest in the job.

STEP 7: Undergo pre-employment checks

As mentioned in the previous steps, some councils in New Zealand require applicants to undergo pre-employment checks, such as a background check, a criminal record check, and a medical examination.

Remember, when undergoing pre-employment checks, there are several things to keep in mind:

  • Be honest when filling out any forms or answering any questions during pre-employment checks. Any discrepancies or falsehoods can result in the job offer being revoked.
  • Provide all required information and documentation in a timely manner to avoid any delays in the hiring process.

We hope that this guide has provided you with valuable insights and useful tips on the application process.

By following the steps outlined in this guide and using the resources and websites we provided, you’ll be one step closer to your dream job in the local government of New Zealand. Best of luck in your job search!