Escape From Brexit – A Procurement Career in New Zealand?

More than 10,500 Britons have inquired about emigrating to the country since the Brexit vote, the New Zealand Herald says, more than double the number of the same period last year. But maybe it isn’t just Brexit attracting people to that beautiful country – it could be hopeful procurement executives looking to join our friend Paul Howard in a senior NZ government role.

Paul and I share a keen interest not just in procurement but also have pretty similar musical tastes, which used to make for pub conversations that would range from eProcurement catalogue systems (he was ahead of his time as a procurement systems visionary), to the chances of the Doves reforming.

He emigrated from the UK early in 2015 after a long career including senior procurement roles in DWP, the Department of Education and laterally Crown Commercial Service, and his family have joined him now in New Zealand. He went initially to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment in NZ but is now Director, Defence Commercial Services for the New Zealand Defence Force – so the top procurement man for the military, basically.

Anyway, we spotted a Facebook post from him the other day and Paul would be delighted if a few of the 10,500 have their CIPS certificates with them, as he is recruiting for a Senior Procurement Specialist role in his team and is looking for good candidates. If you are interested, please email Paul just to express interest in the first place at PAUL.HOWARD@nzdf.mil.nz  - the  impressively detailed job description is here 20160329 Senior Procurement Specialist Final

Pay is around $115k (that’s about £65K) with good benefits, but MCIPS is a must for UK folk, as it's a visa condition. So we fired off an email to ask Paul a few questions about the role and indeed life in New Zealand.

What’s the best thing about being a Brit in NZ right now?

"At the moment, it’s not having to care about or deal with Brexit! And it’s nearly summer, although we have had a very mild winter anyway".

How do the public sector procurement challenges compare to the UK?

"Procurement challenges here have some similarities to UK Public Sector in that we have rules that look and feel similar to the UK Public Sector Contracts legislation but they’re not law and there’s more freedom to interpret (which can be a double edged sword).  The biggest challenges here though relate to how isolated NZ is geographically, which means that there can be limited competitive tensions to bring to bear".

What’s going on in defence; and why should anyone apply for a job with you?

"We’re at an exciting crossroads with the recent publication of the Defence White Paper and we’ll be buying new aircraft, ships and land vehicles in the next few years.  We’re also moving increasingly into commercial solutions for more complex services and looking to put in place long term strategic partnerships for the delivery of things like Aircraft Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul and the regeneration of the Defence Estate. In other words, people get the chance to buy some cool stuff and we have to make sure it operates optimally during its life, so supplier relationship management across a global supply chain forms a crucial part of our work".

Any musical recommendations? You put me onto the Blossoms – their debut album went to number one here the other week.

"Another favourite of mine, Bauer, will be releasing a new album soon called Impossible is Nothing (but I’ve already got it as it was a ‘pledgemusic’ album) but they’ve just released a single called ‘Made the Change’"   (See below).

Thanks Paul - and I suspect you might just get a few UK folk interested in your vacancy!

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