Lawyer Profiles

The following profiles provide an indication as to the variety of work and career paths on offer to government lawyers:

Michael Allan

Solicitor: Enviornmental Protection Authority

michael allan for website
There is no doubt in my mind that an in-house role in the public sector is a great WAY to grow your career and maybe even leave Aotearoa in a better place than before.

I currently work as a Solicitor at the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA).  The role offers me the chance to get stuck into a diverse range of legal work while pursuing my interest in the environmental sector.

With an an LLB and BA in Geography from the University of Otago, I started out my career learning the ropes at one of the large accounting firms in town.  While the experience was a great introduction to the world of commerce and consultancy, my interest in energy and natural resources led me to apply to join the marine consenting team at the EPA.  I’d never really considered an in-house legal role in the public sector up to this point but working alongside our legal team on marine consent applications for offshore oil and gas operations opened my eyes to the possibility.  Fortunately for me an opportunity to join the team came up shortly thereafter and I decided to take the plunge and see if working in-house was for me.  Read more...

Nerissa Barber

Chief Legal Advisor: Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Nerissa Low
My role allows me to combine my interests in the culture and heritage sector with fascinating legal work.

I currently work at the Ministry for Culture and Heritage - Manatū Taonga. I am very fortunate as this role allows me to combine my interest in the cultural and heritage sector with fascinating legal work.

While a small government department (around 130 people) the Ministry has a busy and varied work programme looking after many of the cornerstones of New Zealand’s diverse culture and protecting symbols of our nationhood: recording New Zealand’s history through Te Ara (the online encyclopedia), helping to protect Māori cultural objects (taonga tūturu), overseeing the legitimate exportation of New Zealand’s cultural products and supporting New Zealand’s museums through a regional museums’ funding programme. Read more...

Matthew Hitchman

Solicitor: Ministry for Primary Industries – Commercial, Programmes and Māori Partnerships

Matthew Hitchman Low
In government you can really become the lawyer you want to be.

I have been working in government since February 2013. Initially I started out in a temporary position in the Fisheries Officer Communications Centre. However the exposure to government made me start to seriously think about a career as a government lawyer. I am currently a Solicitor in the Commercial, Programmes and Maori Partnerships Legal Team at the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI). However before gaining a promoted position in that team I was working at graduate level in our Legislation, Standards and International legal team. Read more...

Jin An

Solicitor: Ministry of Social Development – Legal Services, Corporate

Jin An
My colleagues are incredibly passionate about what they do and I find that inspiring.

I am a solicitor at the Ministry of Social Development (MSD). I have been working in government for four and a half years, as a prosecutor, policy advisor and now a solicitor.

A career as a government lawyer appealed to me for a number of reasons. Initially, the attraction revolved around the opportunity to work in public law and provide advice on law reform and policy. However, I could also see a government career offered wide-ranging opportunities, both legal and non-legal, which I wanted to explore. Read more...

Matthew Andrews

General Counsel: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Matthem andrews
Our work has a broader rule of law impact which is good not just for the Crown but for everyone.

Throughout my career, I have tended to work on matters with a commercial focus.  I joined Crown Law in February 2011 after gaining experience in the private sector, where I regularly provided advice to both private and public sector clients. A career in the public sector appealed to me for two main reasons: the variety of the work and the opportunity to be involved earlier in advice and litigation matters than is often the case in the private sector. Being able to influence things at an earlier stage was a definite attraction. Read more...