Internships - Ngā kaupapa tauira

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade offers internships during the summer period in New Zealand from November to February. Applications for our next intake will open in July 2022, details to come

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If you are looking for a summer internship to gain some work experience, a MFAT internship is the place for you! As an intern, you’ll work within a structured program to gain hands-on experience in of the public sector and the work we undertake within MFAT.

Applications for our Aorere and Vaka Foreign Policy Internships will open July 2022.

  • Curious about global challenges and how you can make a difference for Aotearoa's place in the world?
  • Let us introduce you to the world of foreign policy and a career in diplomacy.
  • 11 week paid internship — Wellington based

What can an Aorere and Vaka internship offer you?

As an Aorere or Vaka intern, you will gain valuable work experience and development opportunities, as well as an insight into the world of foreign policy and diplomacy. The internship is an excellent way to prepare for a graduate role with MFAT, or the wider public service.

As an Aorere or Vaka intern, you may find yourself working on areas such as advising the government on our relations with other countries, climate change and the environment, development and humanitarian activities, the UN and human rights, trade negotiations or international security & arms control. These are all kaupapa which are important to the safety and prosperity of Aotearoa whānui including Te Iwi Māori.

Your internship will include:

  • A paid internship over summer within one of our foreign policy teams
  • A research project and opportunity to present your findings
  • A workshop series designed to prepare you for a graduate role
  • Opportunities to use, share and further develop your mātauranga Māori skills
  • Networking opportunities
  • Support and guidance from a mentor
  • A great group of other interns to learn with!
  • Travel assistance will be provided for interns outside of the Wellington region.

Read a Q+A with previous MFAT intern Claudia Prasad

We have a close down period over Christmas and New Year comprised of the statutory holidays, and the 3 working days between Christmas and New Year. This can be taken as leave without pay, or annual leave you have accrued.

Who are we looking for?

My internship was incredibly valuable and set me up to come back through MFAT’s Foundations Programme.

Former MFAT intern — Claudia Prasad.

The Aorere and Vaka internships are part of MFAT’s efforts to attract more Māori and Pasifika staff to help ensure that our foreign ministry and its advice reflects the full diversity of Aotearoa.

The nature of our work is broad-ranging, so we’re looking for students with a range of skills, experiences and backgrounds. We’re looking for people who are curious about global challenges and other cultures - people who are keen to help make positive changes for Aotearoa.

You may bring with you cultural networking skills or mātauranga Māori which are exceptional skills to have when it comes to promoting our country internationally. And because relationships are at the heart of what we do, you’ll enjoy working with people.

Key dates in our recruitment process

Our application process

Recruitment for our intern programmes is a 3-step process:

1. Applications – open July 2022

Apply online we will assess your application and review whether you have met the eligibility criteria for the programmes. You'll need a CV and unofficial transcript (we know this won't be your official one, so just send us where you are at so far) ready to upload, cover letters and references are not required at this stage. Please make sure you answer all of the questions to the best of your ability!

2. Online Assessments – throughout August

This stage of the process helps us to identify whether you have the key skills and behaviours we look for in our interns. These online assessments will be completed over two weekends.

  • Cognitive tests (Abstract, Verbal, Numerical)
  • Video introduction
  • Written exercise

If you aren't selected, we will let you know via email. If you choose to opt-in for job alerts you can see when new roles are advertised – who knows, you might be the perfect candidate for a different role!

3. Online Interviews – early September

Those selected to interview will be interviewed via Zoom. This is where it gets exciting, we want to know more about you, what you like to do outside of university and why you want to join MFAT! 

Offers made – mid to late September

We'll contact you as soon as a decision has been made to let you know your application has been successful. If you’re offered an internship, we will complete a reference and Ministry of Justice check and then send your formal offer via email.  


If you need a hand with some of the assessment components above, please let us know - we're here to help – mā mātou koe e āwhina! Email us at:

Got any questions?

If you have any further questions, please feel free to email us at

Good luck and we look forward to receiving your application!

Intern Sarafina Tipene talks about her internship at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.


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