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This page outlines the vacancy and the key skills and responsibilities for the role.

General Curator - National Aquarium of New Zealand


Reference: 4856141

Located in Napier, the National Aquarium is a unique, exciting and dynamic facility focused on all things aquatic. Owned by the people of Napier and Napier City Council, the aquarium attracts 150,000 visitors each year and offers a wide range of experiences from diving displays and keeper talks, to getting up close and personal with little penguins. Its centrepiece exhibit is the stunning 1.5 million litre Oceanarium with a 50m-long viewing tunnel. It is home to a diverse collection of saltwater, freshwater and land animal exhibits from New Zealand and around the world.

We have exciting plans to expand and redefine the aquarium. Our vision is to create an iconic destination that all New Zealanders will be proud of, and that visitors will be inspired by. Redefining our National Aquarium gives us a unique opportunity to tell New Zealand's freshwater and marine story through themes of sustainable utilisation and conservation.

We have a unique opportunity for an experienced and passionate Curator to join the team, and help us in our journey to create a national centre of excellence which showcases education, research, environmental kaitiakitanga (guardianship), indigenous knowledge, and science.

About the position

This newly created position will be responsible for the strategic planning and implementation of all animal care, exhibit, research & conservation activities supporting the National Aquarium's vision and mission.

Leading a number of dedicated animal care professionals, you will ensure the safe and successful operation of all animal husbandry activities as well as animal collections and exhibits at one of New Zealand's leading aquariums. Covering a 7 day per week, 365 days a year operation, you need to ensure adequate staffing levels to ensure the exhibits continue to thrive in the aquarium environment. You will actively encourage and participate in Continuing Education Programmes and maintain professional affiliations to support the National Aquarium's education mission.

As part of the senior management team, you will have plenty of scope to work with a passionate team to realise our vision of creating an iconic destination that all New Zealanders will be proud of, and that visitors will be inspired by. You may already be an established Curator, or an Assistant Curator looking for the next step up - you will have the passion and energy to muck in and stamp your mark!

About you

To be successful in this position you will need:

  • Minimum qualification of Bachelor's degree in Marine Biology, zoology, veterinary science or related field
  • Experience in the hands-on management of a broad range of aquatic animal species
  • Experience in the positive leadership and supervision of staff, mentoring and development of multiple successful teams
  • Demonstrated experience of improving animal care and welfare through innovative management of animal programmes
  • Personal commitment to the roles of zoos and aquariums in conservation
  • Working knowledge of international wildlife regulations, permitting and CITES

This is a permanent full time position which will require some availability to work weekends and evenings.

We are an equal opportunity employer and we value diversity. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, or disability status although applicants must have existing rights to work in New Zealand.

Our preferred candidates will be required to undergo pre-employment screening which includes drug testing and, for some roles, health screening.

If you are ready for this opportunity, then we encourage you to apply now. We will be interviewing suitable candidates as applications are received and may close this advertisement when we have found the right person.