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01 Jun 2022

TupuToa Internship Programme 2022-2023

What is the TupuToa Internship Programme?
He aha a TupuToa

The TupuToa Internship Programme is an employment pathway that provides professional opportunities for Māori and Pacific tertiary students in corporate, government and community organisations.

We do this by securing 12-week paid-internships for tertiary students with our partner organisations – with the desire that the internship will convert into fulltime employment once our interns have graduated.


Why we do this mahi
Te kaupapa o ā mātou mahi

Māori and Pacific peoples comprise roughly 27% of the national population (higher in Auckland) and yet are largely invisible in corporate New Zealand, and especially so in leadership positions.

Many of our interns are the first in their families to undertake tertiary study and with the guidance and pastoral care of TupuToa Navigators, they are better equipped to succeed in a corporate environment.

Māori and Pacific peoples also represent a younger population, meaning our people will make up a significant proportion of the future workforce.

TupuToa is more than an internship.


TupuToa is more than an Internship
Our interns have access to:

  • A TupuToa navigator who provides personalised suport during theinternship
  • CV, cover letter, interview workshops
  • Networking opportunities with professionals and role models from industry
  • A dedicated manager at the organisation where you intern
  • Training and development which inspire confidence to bring your whole self to work
  • Long-lasting friendships and a peer support network with fellow TupuToa interns
  • Exposure to graduate employment opportunities
  • TupuToa alumni network membership on completion of the internship



To be eligible for the Internship Programme, you must be:

  • Of Māori or Pacific ethnicity
  • Penultimate or final year of study
  • Studying a bachelor’s degree or higher at a tertiary institution
  • Available to work full time over the Summer break
  • Interested in pursuing a career in the corporate, community or government sectors; and
  • A New Zealand Citizen or New Zealand Resident


What we look for in a candidate

Connection to culture

Connection to their whakapapa/culture/heritage now, or desire to connect


Commitment (to the Internship Programme)

Sees things through. Willing to commit and participate actively in the Internship Programme.



Sets aspirational goals and consistently works towards them;
Motivated to exceed expectations.


Perseverance and Resilience

Determined to reach goals/stick with a difficult task over a long period of time even when confronted by obstacles and challenges.


Humility, Empathy and Respect

Acts in a way that demonstrates the ability to understand another’s point of view. Is respectful in dealings with others and acts with humility (without arrogance).



The ability to identify things that need to be done independently and initiate them.
Being willing to act or take charge without being told to.


Strong communication skills

The ability to communicate (written and verbally) in an articulate and confident manner with others.



Open to change and open minded.


Willingness to learn

An orientation towards continued learning. Hunger for and appreciation of opportunities to increase skill, experience and ability.



Takes personal responsibility for their circumstances, their strengths and areas for development. Is self-aware and knows what holds them back.



The Process

The TupuToa selection process has been carefully designed to provide you with the opportunity to demonstrate your suitability for the programme and prepare you for success in this and any other selection process.


Step 1: Apply

Applications for the Internship Programme 2021/22 will open on the 22nd of March.
If you are eligible, you will be invited to take part in our Kokiri Workshops.


Step 2: Kokiri Workshops

These are one hour online or face-to-face workshops focussed on building confidence in addition to CV and interview preparation to support your application to TupuToa and other organisations.

If you are eligible and have completed the Kokiri Workshops you may be invited to take part in a Video Interview, otherwise you will proceed directly to an interview with your partner organisation. 


Step 3: Interviews with partner organisation

Candidates will meet and/or interview with partner organisations and, if successful, will be offered an internship.


Step 4: Pre-Checks

Some organisations may require you undergo a pre-employment background check and/or drug and alcohol test.


Step 5: Offers

Successful candidates will be offered a place on the TupuToa Internship Programme. This means that you have been shortlisted – 90% of the applicants who are shortlisted will secure an internship. It is important to note that internships are not dictated by TupuToa but by the opportunities created by our partners.

Thus, being offered a place on the Internship Programme does not guarantee an internship opportunity; you must also successfully interview and secure a role with a partner.


Step 6: Internship

Most internships commence in November.


Ngā Whāinga

A TupuToa intern, is expected to –

  • Understand and comply with their employment agreement
  • Meet face to face with a TupuToa Navigator
  • Participate consistently in all TupuToa workshops and events
  • Contribute to the development of the wider TupuToa community; and
  • Become a role model for younger Māori and Pacific students.


Please note: not every applicant is guaranteed an internship.

Apply Now!