Head of Zoo Environment, Design & Construction – Auckland Zoo

Posted: 10 June 2021   |   Full-Time   | Auckland Zoo, New Zealand | Deadline to apply: 30 June 2021

  • Senior leadership role
  • Zoo design, construction and facility management
  • Oversight of the Zoo’s physical environment to enhance delivery of mission

Managing and developing the physical environment of the Zoo to deliver extraordinary wildlife experiences for visitors and enhancing delivery of the wildlife conservation mission. 

He angitūtanga: The opportunity

At Auckland Zoo we bring people together to build a future for wildlife. We do this by caring for wildlife, inspiring our visitors to value wildlife, helping to conserve wildlife in the wild and building a high-performance organisation.

We are delivering an ambitious multi-million dollar capital expenditure renewals programme, which is seeing the transformation of much of the site and the development of new infrastructure, experiences and facilities across the zoo.

Reporting to the Zoo Director, this is a key role in the leadership team responsible for providing direction to, and oversight of, the management of the Zoo’s physical environment, such that it provides extraordinary wildlife experiences that communicate the natural world to zoo visitors, provides exemplary habitats for visitors and the wildlife in the Zoo’s care, reflects the Zoo’s commitment to environmental sustainability and provides a safe and secure environment for our staff, volunteers and visitors.

The role provides leadership to the teams responsible for the design and delivery of the zoo’s key projects and general renewals and maintains oversight of the capital expenditure budget of approximately $13-16m per annum.

The role provides leadership to the teams that monitor, and maintain the Zoo’s infrastructure, environments, utilities, and stores and for ensuring exceptional standards of health & safety and security in a Ministry for Primary Industries licenced zoo containment facility.

This role is responsible for managing the appropriate allocation of resources and expertise to ensure that all programmes within the Zoo Environment, Design & Construction department are delivered safely, efficiently, to budget, to scope, and that timeframes and department objectives are aligned with the Zoo’s and Auckland Unlimited’s strategic objectives.

He kōrero mōu: About you

To be considered for this unique opportunity you will need to have a minimum of 10 years’ experience in a management role within a nationally or regionally accredited zoo, aquarium, wildlife park or similar wildlife care facility. You will also have a proven track record in modern zoo habitat design and the design of visitor experience amenities.

You will:

Have extensive experience in the specialist requirements of managing a government licenced zoo containment facility that ensures compliance with the Standard for Zoo Containment Facilities under the Hazardous Substances & New Organisms Act (1996). This will include a comprehensive understanding of the specialist requirements for health, safety and security in a wildlife facility that is open to visitors.

As an experienced zoo/wildlife professional you will also need a minimum of 10 years’ experience in the design, planning and construction of large-scale capital development projects ($10m+), whilst managing the current assets and utilities to keep the operational wheels of the zoo turning and maintaining an exceptional visitor experience.

Have extensive procurement contract negotiation and contract management experience, with capital and operational budgeting and financial management expertise. Preferably within a local or central government environment with a nuanced understanding of the special privileges and responsibilities of spending public money.

Have an excellent knowledge of the principles of Te Ao Maori and how it should be incorporated into the strategic and operational aspects of a good, modern zoo in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Ideally be passionate about wildlife conservation and be able to demonstrate an understanding of the World Zoo & Aquarium strategies that inform and guide the animal welfare, conservation, education and sustainability goals of a good, modern zoo.

Be a comfortable public speaker, happy to be a face and voice of the Zoo, and you will be a powerful advocate for Auckland Zoo and wildlife conservation at industry conferences and workshops.

Have proven leadership skills with an outstanding track record of developing and coaching teams to achieve results.
Be a strategic thinker and highly skilled planner and facilitator, with the ability to move seamlessly between big picture thinking and an exquisite attention to detail mind.

Have an extensive background in visitor/customer experience and have a tireless desire to exceed zoo visitor expectations in all that we offer.

Ngā āhuatanga kei a mātou: What we offer

This is a unique and high-profile role. Bring your extensive zoo experience; your creative, optimistic and logical thinking; your problem-solving collaborative approach; and your communication and planning skills to the zoo’s leadership table. If you have a desire to make a significant contribution to help conserve wildlife, strengthen our communities and improve our environment, then this could be the opportunity you have been looking for.

If this sounds like your next career challenge, we would love to hear from you. We will offer you a stimulating work environment and the chance to make a difference.

For more information and a Position Description please email  sylvia.holding@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz
Note: this position will be expected to work some weekends and public holidays

 Applications close on 30 June 2021

This role is deemed safety sensitive and in line with Auckland Council policy, you will be required to complete pre-employment drug and alcohol testing.

Auckland Zoo, a CCO of Auckland Council, is an equal opportunity employer (EOE) and we are committed to providing a working environment that embraces and values diversity and inclusion. If you have any support or access requirements, we encourage you to advise us at the time of application to assist you through the recruitment process.

Employees in receipt of salary protection and/or on the predecessor Council terms and conditions of employment, please note that the salary protection and/or predecessor Council terms and conditions, including relocation, apply to your current position. Should you change to a new position (other than any secondment) you will be issued with a new employment letter of offer with current Auckland Council terms and conditions.

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