Work-life balance

We recognise that there's so much more to life than just work!

We recognise that there's so much more to life than just work!

It's about creating an effective balance, which means different things for different people.

Professional development

  • Technical and non-technical training opportunities (e.g. advanced analytical instrument and computer training, boat skipper training and certification, commercial scientific dive training and certification).
  • Support towards membership of national and international professional organisations.
  • Extensive provision for national and international conference attendance and other collaboration opportunities.
  • Annual performance evaluation and a merit-based reward system.
  • Awards to support excellent performance in science, customer service and support activities.
  • Support to get 'blue skies' research funding.

Varied, interesting, challenging work

Our scientists and technical staff experience a wide variety of challenging work activities in a variety of stunning outdoor environments.

  • Varied clients and problems to solve.
  • Internationally-recognised, multi-disciplinary research teams working on national and global environmental issues.
  • Close links with and input on national and international planning, legislative development, treaties and decision making on environmental issues and natural resource use.
  • Extensive travel opportunities around New Zealand and the Pacific.

Flexible working

  • Flexible working hours.
  • Free car parking at all locations.

Social events

  • NIWA team and social events.
  • Mid and year-end staff functions.


4 weeks annual leave, plus:

  • 3 personal development leave days each year*
  • 4 NIWA days each year, usually Christmas Eve and the three days after Boxing Day
  • 1 day birthday holiday*
  • Long service recognition payment equivalent of 5 days paid at 5,10,15,20,30,40 and 50 years’ service

Parental leave

The opportunity to swap up to 30 days of unpaid parental leave with 30 days of paid leave, in addition to government-funded paid parental leave.*

Safety and wellbeing

  • Family-friendly workplace and culture.
  • Wage and salary continuance for non work-related injuries.
  • The NIWASafe  programme helps to maintain staff health by offering free annual flu vaccinations, vision testing and optical requirements support, workstation assessment and a staff wellness programme, as well as much more!
  • Access to confidential, free counselling to support staff having personal difficulties.


A superannuation scheme with matched employer contributions (exact contributions vary).

* Conditions apply to the staff benefits outlined above.

Safely harnessed into position, NIWA's Dr Andrew Lorrey points an FLIR T640 infrared camera out of the open cabin door towards the Tasman Glacier to gather thermal data for the glacier ice, meltwater and the debris cover.
Julian Sykes electro-fishing for short-jawed kokopu in the steep cascades of Anderson Creek.
Scientific Diver, Crispin Middleton is surrounded by panicked Starry Toado Pufferfish at the Poor Knights Marine Reserve. The Starry Toado are a rarely seen pelagic pufferfish that usually live in deep, blue, open water. On very rare occasions, the fish stray too close to land and immediately get attacked by hungry kingfish and snapper. The panicked fish seek shelter around anything in the water, in this case, it was me.