Vacancies at SBN

Programme Manager: Water


Programme Managers undertake a number of significant functions to develop and lead SBN’s transformational projects and Advisory work. Our projects aim to drive systems change and our Advisory work moves individual organisations along a sustainability maturity curve.  The Programme Lead is someone passionate about the health of Aotearoa waterways and systems. You understand the role and opportunity for business (large and small) and key stakeholders in improving our waterway systems. You are a great communicator who proactively looks for ways to increase impact.   This is a varied role with a mixture of team management, high level strategy and leading and developing Projects and Advisory work, primarily focused on water. You will provide strategic guidance to teams and project managers in ways that promote SBN’s  culture. You will also oversee the progress of operations.  The environment is dynamic so a high degree of a flexibility is required. 


  • Develop, establish support (including financial), lead and manage strategically relevant transformational projects
  • Coordinate and oversee direction of SBN’s water strategy
  • Decide on suitable strategies and objectives on an ongoing basis and best use of team resource
  • Work in an agile way across the organisation
  • Coordinate cross-project activities
  • Assess and report on programme performance and aim to maximise Return on Investment and impact for SBN
  • Create, monitor and report on impact measures on a monthly basis
  • Ensure annual budget allocation and deadlines for Projects and Advisory are met
  • Generate and deliver Advisory work that helps move organisations along the sustainability maturity curve and meets annual budgets
  • Support the development, maintenance, enhancement of systems, process, tools and resources to support the delivery of the Project and Advisory Services work and the interaction between the Projects and Advisory work and our investor offering 
  • Planning, tracking & reporting of relevant Projects and Advisory work – prepare monthly reports for CEO and board
  • General administration duties (organising & reporting on meetings etc) 
  • Support relevant projects and coalitions as a member of the Projects and Advisory Team where applicable


  • Leadership – proven manager experience, confidence with managing a growing and diverse team
  • Systems thinking – ability to understand the ‘big picture’, observe changes within systems, identify patterns and trends, change perspectives, and identify connections and influences within and between systems 
  • Strong knowledge of sustainability – in particular, understanding of and commitment to the health of New Zealand’s freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems 
  • Project Management – 5 years + project management experience; high proficiency in leading projects and experience managing multiple complex tasks in parallel, meeting deadlines, with successful outcomes realised and reported 
  • Solution mindset – advanced analytical, problem solving and decision-making skills
  • Strong sense of accountability and ownership – accept individual responsibility for seeing a task through to its completion, understand when and how to escalate, take appropriate risk (avoid unnecessary risk) and understand impact of decisions
  • Agile – able and willing to adapt to change and work in a fast-paced environment. Demonstrate initiative and ability to advance projects while managing multiple initiatives.
  • Relationship management – ability to build partnerships with multiple and diverse stakeholders, including project partners, government agencies, community groups and landowners, and communicate clearly with SBN members and team
  • Sales and negotiation – able to bring onboard significant funding for projects
  • Entrepreneurial spirit – passionate, creative, positive, resilient and highly driven to achieve outcomes 
  • Strategic and commercial acumen – ability to think and operate within a strategic context and deliver financial targets 
  • Communication skills – excellent ability and confidence in all levels of verbal and written communication, including giving presentations.  
Please apply for this position via Seek.


Please note, our intern programme is temporarily on hold due to Covid-19 restrictions and limited capacity.

At SBN staff and interns work together to help deliver a range of services to members both in person and online.  Members are encouraged to make a contribution towards our four transformation areas by providing expertise, collaborating on projects, participating in events and conferences, or showcasing their work at our annual Awards and other events.

Internships are unpaid voluntary positions.  They are often filled by students who are working towards or have completed an academic course of study and usually have a specific focus to complete a particular task or project.

At SBN you’ll gain knowledge and experience in sustainability from our leading sustainability practitioners and we hope that you will gain both personal and job satisfaction.

If you are interested please fill in this form and email it to [email protected]