Work-life balance

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*
  • 3 NIWA days each year, usually the three days after Boxing Day
  • 1 day birthday holiday*
  • Long service leave of 10 days after 10 years and a further 10 days after 20 years' service*.

Parental leave

An ex gratia parental leave payment equivalent to 30 days' pay, 6 months after returning from parental 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).


We think it's important to stay in touch with our people while they're away from NIWA, so we've created the NIWA Alumni Newsletter, which we send out semi-annually to:

  • Staff on parental or other extended leave away from NIWA
  • Our former staff members 


* Conditions apply to the staff benefits outlined above.

Category winner – Our people. Julian Sykes electro-fishing for short-jawed kokopu in the steep cascades of Anderson Creek. Credit: Jo Hoyle
NIWA Principal Scientist Dr Malcolm Green. Mangrove clearance, he says, is "a values argument. It’s about how people want their estuaries to be.” Credit: Dave Allen
NIWA's chief climate scientist David Wratt: "One thing I find difficult is people who have decided what it is they believe, and are now looking round for evidence to support it." Credit: Dave Allen
2012 Our People Award: Diver. [Tracey Edwards]In this photo, NIWA scientist Dr John Clayton applies diquat (a herbicide) to control aquatic weeds in Lake Okataina. The red colour is due to a tracer dye, which was used to track the herbicide's movement.