Foreign Policy Officer Āpiha Take Tāwāhi

Foreign policy officers represent New Zealand's interests overseas and provide policy advice to the Government on foreign affairs and trade issues.

Foreign policy officers may do some or all of the following:

  • work in embassies, high commissions and consulates overseas to promote New Zealand's interests
  • seek improved access for New Zealand exports and help organise trade missions
  • negotiate treaties and agreements with other countries
  • liaise with local authorities in other countries
  • study and report on political and economic developments
  • help develop foreign policy and trade policy
  • draft briefing papers and submissions
  • inform industries about trade policies of other countries.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for foreign policy officers includes volunteer or paid work:

  • with international organisations
  • in legal, economic or trade fields, or in public policy 
  • with people from different cultures.

Personal Qualities

Foreign policy officers need to be:

  • adaptable, versatile and resilient
  • able to relate to people from a wide range of cultures
  • able to persuade and influence others
  • able to work well as part of a team
  • excellent communicators
  • good at analysing and interpreting information.

Foreign policy officers also need common sense, a strong sense of New Zealand identity, and to be willing to travel and live overseas.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for foreign policy officers includes volunteer or paid work:

  • with international organisations
  • in legal, economic or trade fields, or in public policy 
  • with people from different cultures.

Subject Recommendations

A tertiary entrance qualification is required to enter further training. Useful subjects include English, other languages and economics.

Related Courses

Foreign Policy Officers can earn around $55K-$65K per year per year.

Foreign policy officers can progress into more senior positions in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. For example, they might become an overseas ambassador or director of a world regional division such as the Asia division. They may also use their foreign policy experience to move into the private sector and work as advisers or consultants.

Foreign policy advisers may specialise in working in a particular country or region.

Foreign Policy Officer