Summer Internship Programme

Hāpaitia te ara tika, pūmau ai te rangatiratanga mō te apōpō | Foster the pathway of knowledge to strength, independence and growth for the future.

As Summer Interns, we believe the skills and knowledge you hold are valuable to the work force leading education in Aotearoa. We will guide you through your career journey with a focus on inspiring you to bring your whole self to Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga | Ministry of Education. You will be equipped with new skills to add to your own Kete Mātauranga (Basket of Knowledge) to take with you on your way to success.

The Summer Internship Programme has provided 5 years of professional development opportunities for students since 2018. We offer a 12-week paid programme, from November to February, where you are immersed in a professional environment. Along with the support of the Early in Careers team, you will have a supervisor, mentor, and buddy to guide you through this journey. There are various internship opportunities across our business groups, extending to education sector agencies.

In 2020, the Ministry of Education ranked #1 in the public service sector category and #6 preferred employer by GradNewZealand. In 2021, we came in as a finalist in the in the Diverse Talent category by Diversity Works.

There are various ways that you could become a summer intern. We directly recruit and also partner with various organisations – read more about this below.

We are taking a little time to pause and review this year and will seek applications from July 2024 for next summer.

Recruitment pathways

Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga | Ministry of Education

Since 2019, the Ministry of Education has been directly recruiting interns enabling a closer engagement with young people and tertiary institutions and ensures accessibility for candidates to learn more about our organisation during the recruitment experience. We recruit students who are in their third year of study or have graduated within the last two years.

In 2020, we created the Refugee Background stream where we take on students who have had an experience of being refugees and are needing the support to gain work experience for the first time in the corporate world. We work closely with the Career Counselling services of universities to cater the application and recruitment process to support these students.


The Ministry of Education has partnered with TupuToa since 2018. Their programmes aim to address the persistent inequalities facing our communities and disrupt intergenerational disadvantage. TupuToa works to reduce entry and advancement barriers which are biased against Māori and Pacific communities, and support organisations in successfully recruiting and onboarding Māori and Pacific peoples.

Tupu Tai

‘Tupu’ means ‘to grow’ and ‘Tai’ means ‘tide’ in several Pacific dialects – referring to the growing tide of Pacific peoples in the public sector. The Ministry of Education has partnered with Tupu Tai throughout the years taking on policy interns. This fourteen-week internship over the summer is an opportunity for you to gain policy experience, build professional networks and prepare you to enter employment after completing your studies. As a Tupu Tai intern, you will share diverse Pacific perspectives on prominent issues that affect all New Zealanders. The programme supports MBIE’s commitment to improving Pacific economic outcomes by building more sustainable job opportunities for Pacific peoples.

Analytics Research and Government

The Analytics and Research in Government (ARG) internship programme is a multi-agency initiative led by StatsNZ. The Ministry of Education has been involved in this internship since 2019. The purpose of this paid internship is to build capability in data, analytics and research across Government. Interns are placed within a government agency alongside some of the New Zealand's leading data analysts, working on real data, looking for real insights.

To see an overview of our hiring process for the Summer Internship Programme click here.

Pūmau ai tō Rangatiratanga | Holdfast to your independence

Throughout the 12-week programme, interns are given the task to facilitate weekly debriefs and sessions that bring the cohort together for whakawhānaungatanga and a time for reflection of their mahi. Here we have our most recent cohort meeting for their final intern debrief of the programme.

Our 2023 cohort were invited to ministerial visits where they were given the chance to step into spaces that hold significant history for Aotearoa. They had the opportunity to meet the former Minister of Education who is now Prime Minister Chris Hipkins.

A huge highlight for our past 2023 cohort had been when they were welcomed through a Pōwhiri, carried out by the Pou arahi Māori and manawhenua, Te Ati Awa. Māori and Pasifika culture was on full display with Interns not given the chance to meet one another but were given the space to introduce themselves to the wider community within the organisation. This included the team managers and buddies our interns will be working with.

To hear what our previous intern cohorts thought of our Summer Internship programme click here.

Mō te apōpō | For the Future

Inspirational Leaders in Te Tāhuhu o Te Mātauranga

Our 2023 cohort of interns had the opportunity to meet Minister Tinetti and Minister Sio with the Chief Executive and Secretary for Education, Iona Holsted. They had the chance to peek into the work life of those leading the Ministry of Education and the journey our leaders took to get to where they are now. These meetings have inspired our interns to continue to work towards a better future for education in Aotearoa and to pursue their own path, by facing their challenges head on and taking that one step closer to accomplishing their career goals.

Professional development and discussion forums

To inspire our Interns to grow confidence in their workspace and feel empowered to voice their perspective, our Early in Careers team host Cultural, Health and Wellbeing discussion forums along with professional development sessions. We believe by holding these spaces, we can assist our interns to navigate their experience in the Ministry by learning more about who they are through bringing their whole selves to the workspace. In Early in Career, we provide opportunities that allow our interns to grow stronger in the workforce. We encourage our Interns to take on any challenges that may enter their path, as this is an advantageous skill to acquire in any career they choose to pursue.

Final presentations

Nearing the end of the 12-week programme, our interns present their ‘End of Internship’ presentations. This is where they share their experiences about their time in Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga | Ministry of Education, with our Early in Careers team as well as those who’ve accompanied them through their internship.

The many skills they have learned along the way are acknowledged, as well as the many experiences our interns have had. This is the time for our interns to speak on their experience right from their application process to their final days as an intern. It is also time to see how this opportunity may have impacted their journey ahead.


He pātai tāu? Tenā, pātai mai | Have questions? Feel free to ask 

For more information about the Summer Internship Programme, please email