Policy Analyst Kaitātari Kaupapa

Policy analysts gather and analyse information to assist in the planning, development, interpretation and review of government or industrial policies.

Policy analysts may do some or all of the following:

  • identify issues (such as ethical, legal or political problems) to research and analyse
  • develop, interpret and review existing policies and legislation
  • consult and collaborate with interested parties
  • provide advice and recommendations to senior management and government 
  • prepare speeches, correspondence and Cabinet papers for ministers
  • write and present reports.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for policy analysts includes:

  • building and maintaining relationships with clients
  • research and interpreting statistics
  • community work
  • work in a government agency.

Personal Qualities

Policy analysts need to be:

  • perceptive and inquisitive
  • adaptable
  • strong communicators
  • able to work well in a team
  • good planners and problem solvers
  • motivated, enquiring and patient
  • skilled in analysing and interpreting information
  • able to work well under pressure, as they need to meet deadlines.


Policy analysts need to have:

  • knowledge of political, economic, social and cultural aspects of New Zealand life
  • an understanding of how parliament operates and government policy is developed
  • knowledge of legislative processes and the Treaty of Waitangi
  • knowledge of research methods.


Policy analysts:

  • usually work regular business hours
  • work in offices
  • may travel domestically to do research or attend meetings and conferences.

Policy Analysts can earn around $68K-$116K per year.

Pay for policy analysts varies depending on experience, responsibility, and the organisation they work for.

Pay for policy analysts working for the public service:

  • policy analysts usually earn between $68,000 and $85,000 a year.
  • senior policy analysts usually earn between $102,000 and $116,000
  • principal advisors usually earn between $132,000 and $155,000.

Policy analysts working in the private sector may earn a higher salary, particularly when working in an economic or financial role with the right qualifications.

Source: careers.govt.nz research and Te Kawa Mataaoho Public Service Commission, July 2022. 

Policy analysts may start off in junior positions before progressing to more senior or management roles. They may also move between the private and public sectors.

Years Of Training

3 years of training usually required.

To become a policy analyst you usually need to have a Bachelor's degree. Employers will normally consider graduates from a variety of subject areas such as:

  • public policy
  • social science
  • history
  • arts
  • economics
  • finance
  • resource management
  • law.

Employers often prefer candidates to have completed a postgraduate qualification.

Policy Analyst