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Communications Officer (G240-18CA)

RAE - Riddet Core, Research, Academic and Enterprise

We are seeking a Communications Officer on a 2 years' fixed term, full-time basis to promote a positive public profile and internal culture for the Riddet Institute, through high quality external and internal communications.

Location:Palmerston North
Term:Fixed Term of 2 Years
Grade:Grade F
Salary:$48,719 - $68,838 pa
Applications close:11:45 p.m. on 30 July 2018

Position overview

The Riddet Institute is a world-best research centre in nutrition and food sciences, providing fundamental scientific understanding and training for a new generation of science leaders. The Institute integrates partner organisations (Massey University (host), Auckland and Otago Universities, AgResearch and Plant & Food Research) leading a “NZ Inc” approach to research, and generates knowledge and capability that transforms the New Zealand agri-food industry. The Institute receives funding from both government and industry to carry out a range of fundamental and strategic research programmes.

We are seeking a Communications Officer to promote a positive public profile and internal culture for the Riddet Institute through high quality external and internal communications. In this Palmerston north based role, you will regularly interact and work closely with the Institute’s management, investigators, project leaders, and partner Institutions. You will also contribute to the general administration of the Institute. You will report to Professor Warren McNabb, Deputy Director, Riddet Institute, Massey University and your other key liaisons are Professor Harjinder Singh, Director, Riddet Institute and Mr John Henley-King, Business Manager.

As a successful candidate, you will have completed a relevant tertiary qualification and have proven aptitude/experience in communications. You will have excellent written and verbal communication skills, including the ability to translate science into clear and interesting articles for target audiences.

The salary will depend on experience, with appointment for an initial term of two years.

Your application should include: (1) a copy of your CV, (2) the names of at least two referees, (3) your university transcripts and (4) a covering letter that describes why you are the best candidate for the appointment.

If you have questions about the position, please email Professor Warren McNabb,

Job description

Purpose statement

Purpose Statement: To promote a positive public profile and internal culture for the Riddet Institute through high quality external and internal communications. Contribute to the administration of the Riddet Institute as part of a small cooperative team.

Responsible to

Riddet Institute Deputy Director

Key accountabilities

Promote the Riddet Institute, its research activities, its people and its successes through positive communication to internal and external audiences.
• Contribute to the development and implementation of communication strategies and plans
• Author on-line and print articles, news releases and stories for external audiences and stakeholders
• Develop internal newsletters and other communications to ensure staff are well informed, valued and recognised
• Liaise with the Riddet Institute partners (Massey University, Plant and Food Research, AgResearch, University of Auckland, University of Otago) to source and share news
• Assist the Stakeholder Relationship Manager to communicate to and about industry and community stakeholders.
• Develop a positive relationship with specific media outlets to facilitate communications to the public
• Work with external designers and agencies to produce high quality publications, newsletters, reports and websites as required, including the Annual Report
• Develop and maintain relevant websites, social media and other on-line platforms
• Develop and maintain a student alumni network
• Assist in organising public lectures, industry forums, symposia and other events to showcase the Riddet Institute
• Carry out or facilitate other targeted public relations activities

• Participate in relevant administration or research team meetings.
• Assist with other administrative duties within the management team.
• Other duties consistent with the role as directed by the Riddet Institute Director or Deputy Director

Person specification


An appropriate tertiary qualification and proven aptitude/experience in communication (such as public relations, journalism, media). We would be especially interested in candidates with a science background and aptitude in communication.


• Excellent written and verbal communication skills including the ability to translate science into clear and interesting articles for target audiences.
• Experience and/or aptitude for website content maintenance, social media and other online platforms.
• Experience in the use of office computers, including the use of Microsoft Office software (eg: Word, Excel)

Personal attributes and behaviours

• Positive, proactive, adaptable and outcome focussed.
• Excellent interpersonal skills, including the ability to communicate with people at all levels and to maintain professional working relationships in a team environment
• Attention to detail with a high standard of work quality.
• Highest level of integrity including the ability to maintain confidentiality.
• Ability to multi-task, problem solve, prioritise tasks and achieve deadlines.


Massey Contact Centre Mon - Fri 8:30am to 5:00pm 0800 MASSEY (+64 6 350 5701) TXT 5222 Web chat Staff Alumni News Māori @ Massey