Ka kite anō to our summer interns

As raumati draws to a close and the University year starts back, our interns are preparing to depart from beneath the korowai of Te Puni Kōkiri.

Published: Friday, 25 February 2022 | Rāmere, 25 Huitanguru, 2022

Last November welcomed 31 bright eyed rangatahi from across the motu. This group of tauira (students) is the largest rōpū Te Puni Kōkiri has hosted since the inception of the intern programme, with 23 of the total 31 tauira based at Te Tari Matua in Pōneke.

The three-month long internship saw the tauira seamlessly merge into the busy lives of their puni at Te Puni Kōkiri. Along with filling their kete mātauranga, the interns have gained valuable work experience within the public service.  

Te Wehenga Christensen (Regional Intern, Tauranga Moana) feels his time so far has been rewarding and that Te Puni Kōkiri is helping him gain the needed experience.

“I have contributed a lot of my time to the creation of our new Waikato-Waiariki Rangatahi Strategy,” Te Wehenga says.

“The mahi we carry out is executed by rangatahi for rangatahi.”

Whakawhanaungatanga (networking) between the tauira has shown just how diverse the rōpū is.

The interns are studying a range of subjects from Law to Aquaculture, and there is diversity in the iwi they whakapapa to. Ngāti Porou is the most common iwi followed by Tainui and Te Arawa Māngai Nui.

Bessie Isaachsen (Ngāti Porou, Ngāi Tai, Jamaica, Ghana) is one of two Whānau Ora interns in her last year of university, on her way to completing her tohu in law. 

“This internship has been one of the biggest opportunities for my professional career,” Bessie says. “This experience has laid stepping stones for my future.”

For some tauira generational change is the drive behind their ambition. Amaris Wi (Ngāti Maniapoto) grew up in Kawerau where living quality varies.

“My ambition stems from wanting to improve the living conditions for my whānau,” Amaris says. “I want to provide my whānau with the best life possible so generations to come will have the best head start in life.”

The internship programme at Te Puni Kōkiri has given the interns the chance to hit the ground running if they are to choose a career in the public service.  

Whāia te iti kahurangi, ki te tuohu koe, me he maunga teitei

Seek the treasure that you value most dearly, if you bow your head, let it be to a lofty mountain.