New Policy Professionals (Graduate) and Summer Policy Internship Programme

Do you want to play a role in shaping the Aotearoa of tomorrow? We are looking for students and soon to be graduates who are interested in making a difference for all New Zealanders.

Do you have a curious mind? Are you an explorer and innovator? Do you like the big picture thinking, or are you down in the detail? If you’ve answered yes to any of these, then our policy programmes may be for you!

We consider New Policy Professionals (Graduates) and Interns from all backgrounds with a genuine interest in working in policy and government and making a difference for all New Zealanders.

Applications for our 2024 New Policy Professionals (Graduate) Programme and 2023/24 Summer Policy Internship will be open from Monday 27 February 2023 to Sunday 9 April 2023.

At MBIE, we put people at the heart of our mahi. Our work is underpinned by one clear aspiration, to Grow Aotearoa New Zealand for All. Based on the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi / The Treaty of Waitangi, we are committed to upholding authentic partnerships with Māori. Our work touches on the daily lives of New Zealanders. We grow opportunities (Puāwai), guard and protect (Kaihāpai) and innovate and navigate towards a better future (Auaha) for the communities that we serve.

We are a large and complex global organisation with over 4,000 staff. We play a big role in shaping and influencing New Zealanders standard of living and quality of life through policy.

Both programmes are based in Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington, the coolest little capital in the world! You’ll never be short of things to do in this vibrant city. It’s easy to get around, filled with sporting and cultural events, and what’s more - it’s Aotearoa New Zealand’s political, scientific and cultural heart.

What is policy?

Policy professionals provide the evidence and information Ministers need to make informed decisions on public policy issues.

The public policy making process involves the elected government (Ministers or Cabinet) making decisions for Aotearoa New Zealand, which can be based on advice and recommendations by impartial policy advisors. Being a Policy Advisor can involve understanding the problem/issue, researching, consulting and writing advice.

Great policy advice is the foundation of effective government decision-making. Policy underpins the wellbeing of all people in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Policy at MBIE

Policy at MBIE involves exciting and challenging mahi that could see you looking at a wide range of issues; how do we make New Zealand businesses more internationally competitive? How do we solve the gender pay gap? How do we regulate space-related activities at the New Zealand Space Agency? How is Aotearoa New Zealand responding to climate change? A range of exciting opportunities are waiting for you at MBIE.

It’s exciting and challenging work that could see you looking at a range of interesting and high-profile issues including government priorities and hot media topics.

Whai tikanga/wheako ake - Take your career further with MBIE

2024 New Policy Professionals (Graduate) Programme

Our New Policy Professional (Graduate) Programme is a paid 12 month-long development and training programme that upon successful completion of the programme would transition into a Policy Advisor role.

From week one you'll get stuck into real, meaningful work - researching topical issues, analysing key trends and helping us deliver new projects and programmes

Through our programme, you will gain experience across a broad range of areas and access development opportunities to quickly advance your career. You’ll be exposed to a wide range of perspectives, with opportunities to work closely with other government agencies, senior officials, ministers and key influencers outside of government.

Our robust, structured training programme includes:

  • A supportive induction programme to help get you up-and-running quickly
  • On-the-job learning opportunities designed to expose you to a wide range of policy issues
  • A development programme designed to develop your policy craft
  • A buddy from your Policy team to help learn and navigate around MBIE
  • Ongoing support, feedback and direction to help you progress your policy career
  • A great cohort of graduates to support and grow alongside you

Ngā whakaritenga - Minimum requirements

To be eligible for the Graduate Programme you will need to meet the following criteria:

  • You can have no more than one-year post-graduation full-time work experience
  • You must have graduated, or will finish your study, before February 2024
  • You must have the ability to legally live and work in New Zealand
  • You must pass all our employment vetting and approval standards

To Apply for New Policy Professionals (Graduate) Programme, Click here

2023/24 Summer Policy Internship Programme

Do you want a taste of what it’s like to help shape the Aotearoa New Zealand of tomorrow?  The Summer Policy Internship is a paid three-month programme, suitable for tertiary students in their second to last year. It’s a great way to explore the policy profession and see what it’s like to work in government .

You’ll be given plenty of guidance and support to tackle real life policy problems and find out what it’s like to be a policy professional.

The Summer Policy Internship programme will start November 2023 and runs until February 2024.

As part of your 12-week programme you will have:

  • A supportive induction programme to help get you up-and-running quickly
  • A buddy from your Policy team to help learn and navigate around MBIE
  • Introduction workshops about “what is Policy” and “what is it like to work in the Public Sector

Ngā whakaritenga - Minimum requirements

To be eligible for the Summer Policy Internship you will need to meet the following criteria:

  • You must be currently studying for a Bachelor’s degree or higher qualification, and continuing your study in 2024
  • You must be eligible to live and work in New Zealand
  • You must pass all MBIE employment vetting and approval standards

To Apply for Summer Policy Internship, Click here.

E rapu ana mātou i a wai - Who are we looking for?

We're looking for passionate people from any degree with diverse perspectives and backgrounds, who love an intellectual challenge and who want to help create a better New Zealand. A range of exciting opportunities are waiting for you at MBIE.

  • Skilled writers who write clearly, accurately, and logically
  • Critical thinkers who use well-reasoned logic to solve problems
  • Evidence gatherers who research, identify, and make use of relevant information
  • Nimble learners who are flexible and responsive to change
  • Supportive team players who build partnerships and work collaboratively
  • Persuaders and influencers who gain the trust and support of others
  • Purpose-driven actioners who take on new opportunities and tough challenges
  • Decision-makers who make sound decisions, even in the absence of complete information
  • You must pass all our employment vetting and approval standards


Moriah Osborne - Ngāi Tahu | Labour, Science and Enterprise

My favourite part of the Policy Graduate programme is he tangata, he tangata, he tangata – the people! It’s been a blessing to enter the world of the public service with a built-in community of other graduate policy advisors.  

During my time at MBIE, my experience has included not only growth in policy knowledge, but also in my connection to my Kāi Tahu whakapapa and my mātauranga Māori knowledge. 

I’ve also developed relationships other with wāhine Māori through Mana Whakatōpū – a six-month programme focused on the personal and professional development of wāhine Māori. The programme has allowed me space to reconnect, and I’m excited to continue the journey through applying what I’ve learnt both in my work at MBIE, and in my daily life. 

Maria Mahoni | Building, Resources and Markets

Through my mahi in the building policy team, I’ve expanded on my skills through research and analysis – I’ve even provided advice to Ministers! I’m also part of MBIE’s Women of Colour Network’s leadership team, a network at MBIE that allows me to lead inclusively and authentically.

Since starting in the graduate programme, I’ve been involved in the Construction Contracts Amendment Bill where I helped prepare material for the Committee. More recently, I’ve been working largely on the Occupational Regulation reforms in the building and construction sector, all exciting mahi that will help protect the lives of New Zealanders.

I’m grateful to have embarked on the graduate journey at MBIE alongside my cohort. We come from different backgrounds, but we shared our lived experiences and learnt from each other.

Vainui Moresi |Employment Relations Policy - Labour, Science and Enterprise

I got the opportunity to intern here during the summer of 2019/2020 and really enjoyed my experience and team. The graduate programme to me seemed an obvious fit to carry on learning about policy and it’s in and outs.

My favourite thing so far has been the people in our cohort and the familiar faces around MBIE welcoming us in this year. It’s been cool to learn about how others got here and how different our background of education is which I think can only be a positive.

When I finish this programme I hope to be confident in my writing of policy and better my understanding of the process as a whole. I also hope to just have a fun time in general with my cohort and work team

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