Working in the Office of the Clerk
The staff of the Office of the Clerk support the Clerk of the House in carrying out his / her role.
The Clerk is the chief executive of the Office. The Clerk provides a secretariat to the House and its committees, and advises on parliamentary law and procedure. The Clerk of the House is a permanent non-political officer who remains in office regardless of which party or parties are in Government.
The Office has around 120 staff in five main divisions that provide the following services:
House Office — services to the House, parliamentary publishing, inter-parliamentary relations, and parliamentary education.
Select Committee Office — services to select committees.
Reporting Services — Hansard (record of parliamentary debates), Māori translation and interpretation, and broadcasting.
Legal Services — legal services to the Office of the Clerk to support the House of Representatives, the Speaker, members of Parliament and select committees. Legal advice to the Office of the Clerk and Parliamentary Service.
Corporate Services — human resources, financial, information systems, planning, and administrative services to the whole Office.
The work of the Office of the Clerk
Most of the staff employed by the Office provide procedural, legal, and administrative services to the Speaker and members of the Parliament. The work is highly specialised. The profession of being a parliamentary officer, either working in or providing support to the House, or a select committee, is mostly learnt on the job. Institutional knowledge about parliamentary procedure, parliamentary law, and the institution of Parliament generally is highly valued by the Office.
The Office also employs support staff in areas such as human resources, information services and finance.
What kinds of people does the Office of the Clerk employ?
Being a parliamentary officer is intellectually challenging. We look for people who have the ability to understand often complex ideas and procedures quickly, and who have high quality problem-solving skills. Most staff who work directly with members of Parliament are tertiary-qualified and usually have several years work experience, often in the public sector.
Effective communication skills and a confident presentation style are also important. Parliamentary officers must be able to communicate effectively with a wide range of audiences including the Speaker, members of Parliament, and government officials.
The culture of the Office of the Clerk
A supportive team environment is important for the culture of the Office. This means that you must be able to work constructively with a wide range of people often under pressure.
Values that the Office considers are critical to its success are political impartiality, expertise in parliamentary matters, integrity, and accuracy.