Careers - FAQs

A list of some of the questions we get asked most frequently. If you don't see your question answered here, please get in touch.

Below is a list of some of the questions we get asked most frequently. If you don't see your question answered here, please get in touch.

Get in touch

This FAQ section contains information on the following subjects:


Can I apply for a vacancy if I am not currently entitled to work in New Zealand?

Yes, we accept applications regardless of whether you have the appropriate work visa at the time of your application. However, we would expect that you have investigated the application and immigration process and are aware of what will be required for you to gain a work visa.

You must be legally entitled to work in New Zealand before you can start work with NIWA. We are an accredited employer with NZ Immigration under the Work Talent Visa Scheme. For more information about moving to NZ and immigration requirements see Immigration NZ.

Immigration NZ 

How do I know my application has been submitted successfully?

Once you have completed the online process and submitted your application, you will receive an email confirming receipt of your application.

How does the shortlisting process work and how many people will be selected for an interview?

The Hiring Manager will review the applications and make a shortlist based on the required competencies identified in the Person Specification for the position. The number of applicants chosen to progress to the next stage of the selection process depends on the quality and number of applications received.

How will I find out whether my application has been chosen to progress to the next stage of the selection process?

If you have been selected for an interview, you will usually be contacted by NIWA via phone.

  • You may be asked to participate in a brief phone interview.
  • For some positions, the next step may be moving directly to a face to face interview.

If you are unsuccessful in being selected for an interview, you will be contacted via email at the address specified in your application. 

See The Process: Applying

Face to Face Interview

After an interview, what is the next step?

After all the interviews have been completed the panel will decide on the next step(s) of the selection process.

You may be asked to come back for a second interview, or if the panel believes it has all the relevant information it needs to make a decision, a preferred applicant will be identified.

How will I find out whether I've been selected to progress to the next stage of the selection process?

We will contact you by phone to tell you of the outcome of your interview. This may be to:

  • invite you to attend a second interview
  • tell you that you are the preferred applicant
  • tell you that you were unsuccessful.

If I'm unsuccessful, are you able to provide me with feedback regarding the reasons?

We will always endeavour to provide you with constructive feedback regarding areas for possible improvement. However, in some situations we may only be able to provide general comments. 

See The Process: Face to Face Interview

Background Checks

Will I be told before my referees are contacted, so I can let them know to expect a call?

We will let you know prior to contacting your referees. We will ask you to provide the contact details of three referees who are able to comment on your work performance.

Will I need to give you permission to verify my qualifications?

If your qualifications are from overseas institutions, we will ask a verification agency to conduct the checks on our behalf. In this case we will send you copies of their disclosure authorisation forms to be completed.

If you have graduated from a NZ tertiary institution, this information is on public record so we can confirm your qualifications directly with the tertiary institution.

How do you confirm my eligibility to work in NZ?

We will ask to see your passport and take a copy for our records. We then verify the details through the Department of Immigration's online verification system.

I will only be eligible for a work visa once I am offered a position. Is this a problem?

No, it is possible for us to make an offer of employment, subject to your being eligible to work in NZ. 

See The process: background checks

Moving to NZ from overseas

I'm moving to New Zealand from overseas. Can you help  in any way?


See our page 'Coming from Overseas?' for more information

NIWA scientist Don Jellyman picking up a female longfin eel. Credit: Lindsay Hawke