This job is sometimes referred to as Policy
Policy analysts gather and analyses
information to assist in the planning,
development, interpretation and review of
government or industrial policies.
There are no specific entry requirements to
become a policy analyst; however, you usually
require a degree in one of the following areas:
Employers often prefer candidates to have
completed a postgraduate qualification.
A tertiary entrance qualification is required to
enter further training. Bursary or NCEA Level
3 English, maths with statistics, economics,
geography and history are useful.
Policy analysts need to be:
able to work well in a team
motivated, enquiring, and patient
able to work well under pressure, as they
need to meet deadlines.
Useful experience for policy analysts
customer service experience
work in non-governmental organizations
research and interpreting statistics.
Pay for policy analysts varies depending on
experience, responsibility, and whether they
work for public or private organizations.
According to the State Services
Commissions' Human Capability Survey
2012, the average pay for policy analysts
working in the public sector was $87,666.
Policy analysts working in senior positions or
the public sector can earn up to $150,000.
WHAT YOU WILL DO
Policy analysts may do some or all of the
identify issues to research and analyse
interpret and review existing policies
consult with interested parties
evaluate options and make recommendations
for new policies
prepare speeches, correspondence and Cabinet
papers for ministers
write and present reports.
SKILLS AND KNOWLEDGE
Policy analysts need to have:
knowledge of political, economic, social and cultural
aspects of a particular country’s life
an understanding of how parliament operates and
government policy is developed
knowledge of legislative processes and the Treaty of
knowledge of research methods
skill in analyzing and interpreting information
report writing, planning, problem-solving, and time
usually work regular business hours
work in offices
may travel domestically to do research or
attend meetings and conferences.
Mark Ross - Policy Analyst
WHAT'S THE JOB REALLY LIKE?
SMALL WINS WORTH CELEBRATING
"We can make a big difference to the nation's
laws and rules, so it's an influential position.
We have some major victories but
sometimes it might be something as simple
as getting a word changed in legislation.
Even just changing the word 'shall' to 'may'
can be an important win for us."
WHAT DOES THE JOB INVOLVE?
Mark heads a team of 20 policy analysts at
Federated Farmers. They are constantly poring
over draft local or central government reports,
plans and legal documents to assess the effects
they could have on farmers and their
"We have a different focus from policy analysts
who work for central government, but generally
everyone is doing the same thing – a lot of
writing and analytical work and always
trying to get the best outcomes for those
WHO MARK LOOKS FOR IN A POLICY ANALYST
When Mark is filling vacancies on the team,
he looks for methodical people with a mature
outlook and above-average writing skills.
"You need to have a good background either
in economics, law, or maybe science, and
strong writing and reading skills. It helps to
have a broad general knowledge and an
open mind, along with an interest in politics."
WHAT ARE THE CHANCES OF GETTING A JOB?
Job opportunities for policy analysts are
average due to restrictions on government
The tightening of government department
budgets has restricted the growth of policy
analysts. According to Ministry of Business,
Innovation and Employment estimates, the
number of policy analysts increased by about
3% between 2010 and 2012.
HIGH TURNOVER OF POLICY ANALYSTS CREATES
REGULAR OPENINGS IN PUBLIC SECTOR
Turnover among policy analysts working in
the public sector is among the highest for all
public sector jobs. This is because people
sometimes stay in the role for a short time
before moving into the private sector, where
they can earn more money.
MOST POLICY ANALYSTS EMPLOYED BY
Most policy analysts work for government
departments, but other employers include:
authorities (city and district councils)
unions, community organisations and business
or interest groups such as Federated Farmers.
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