Skip to main content

Internship Programme 

Internship Programme 

Internship Programme 

Internship Programme 

Internship Programme 

Internship Programme 

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

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.

Step 1:

Complete Application Form

Step 2:

Phone Kōrero/Talanoa

Step 3:

Kōkiri Workshops

Step 4:

Video Interview

Step 5:

Matching & Interviews with Partnering Organisations

Step 6:


To be eligible for the Internship Programme you must be:

  • Of Māori or Pacific descent

  • 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

TupuToa is more than a career opportunity.

Our tauira have access to:

  • A TupuToa navigator who provides personalised suport during their placement

  • CV, cover letter, interview workshops

  • Networking opportunities with professionals and role models from industry

  • A dedicated manager at the organisation where you carry out your mahi

  • Training and development which inspire confidence to bring your whole self to work

  • Long-lasting friendships and a peer support network with other tauira in the TupuToa movement

  • Exposure to graduate employment opportunities

  • TupuToa alumni network membership on completion of their placement

A successful TupuToa applicant, 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.



Tauawhi Bonilla, TupuToa Intern 2023/24

Tauawhi was confronted with a harsh reality early on in his university journey, creating an insecurity of self-doubt and a lack of confidence. These challenges forged Tauawhi’s character and fuelled his unwavering belief and commitment to his aspirations. He shares that he is not a product of his successes, but a testament to his resilience during those moments of adversity. Tauawhi challenges us to us embrace the challenge of becoming the modern-day Māui and Kupe of our generation—venturing into uncharted waters, defying the limits of possibility so that we may pave the way for those who will follow in our footsteps.

Luseane Valu, TupuToa Intern 2019/20

Humble yet over achieving Luseane is no stranger to our TupuToa whānau. A source of strength and a leader to many! Luseane has been a part of the TupuToa programme for 2 years; interning with our Major Partner, Sky City in 2018/19 and with our Community Partner, LeVa Pacifika in 2019/20. Luseane has successfully secured herself a permanent role at Le Va while she completes her Bachelors in Law and Arts at the University of Auckland. Thank you for sharing your incredible story with us – you’re an inspiration to us all.

Leiloa Pirrie Tanuvasa-Kamo, TupuToa Intern 2023/24

“Our whakapapa is our superpower and its what sets us apart from the majority, and especially during times like this – it is important to hold steadfast to our identities, cultures, and whānau.” Leiloa Pirrie Tanuvasa-Kamo shares how her journey began when she lost her nan in 2021. Learning about the trauma her nan faced as a young māori wahine sparked the desire for Leiloa to learn about her culture and to reclaim what had been lost. Leiloa’s journey with Tū Kahikatea has been one that was empowering, painful and at times confronting. A fear of being called plastic and not knowing where she is from, Leiloa navigated the unfamiliar waters and made it a personal goal to learn her pepeha and embrace her culture.