Te Puni Kōkiri has been delivering the Cadetships programme since 2010. It is a programme that supports employers to develop, mentor, train and grow permanent Māori staff in order for them to take on more senior roles within an organisation.

Damon Khan (Te Arawa), is one of the cadets taken on by Information and Communication Technology (ICT) training company Code Avengers. The company’s decision to join the Te Puni Kōkiri Cadetship programme demonstrates their commitment to bringing more Māori into the ICT sector through a structured career pathway and leadership opportunities.

The Cadetships programme supports employers developing cadets for at least six months, in permanent jobs. Employers can receive up to $10,000 for each cadet, but they must commit to their structured and tailored mentoring, training and development.

Wellbeing Budget 2020

Supporting employment opportunities and development through Cadetships

The Cadetships programme has received $22.7 million over three years to enable employers and Māori employees to maximise new opportunities from the economic stimulus package. It will also help to address increases in unemployment that result from the economic impact of COVID-19.

The successful programme supports employer-driven upskilling and re-skilling activities for Māori employees, supporting Māori workers to move towards higher-skilled positions and/or re-skilling them for new opportunities. Cadetships have demonstrated a positive impact on Māori earnings, skills and employability, and improve business productivity.

Cadetships case studies

Read more about how the Cadetships programme is improving employment outcomes for Māori across a range of industries.  For the most recent stories please go to  Events and Updates.

Creative companies share baskets of knowledge

The founders of three creative companies (VAKA, Psychoactive Studios and Soldiers Rd Portraits) are sharing their baskets of knowledge, so their kaimahi and businesses can thrive.


Opening new doors for Māori storytellers

"It was a risk that's already paying off. I think we've found a gem in Te Haunui" - James Rua (Ngāti Whātua/Ngai Tahu), co-founder of The Hood & Co.


Kaimahi provided tools to grow Māori leadership

“They all have a natural instinct for leadership. There is definitely room to grow within the company, and we want to help tautoko their development.” - Sophia Olo-Whaanga, Social Responsibility Manager for Dempsey Wood.


Building lives through Māori Cadetships

Jarrod Tua didn’t waste time when his business had to down tools during COVID-19. He swapped his hammer for a computer and applied for cadets funding.


Growing Māori leaders and te reo Māori

“To empower young Māori people to stand tall in both worlds, Māori and Pākehā” - Te Ao Marama Roberts (Tainui).

Growing Māori leaders in the ICT sector
“I have gained so many skills and new experiences” - Damon Khan (Te Arawa).




Cadets champion hāngi as New Zealand's national food

"I never thought I’d make money out of putting down hāngi” - Tyler Gordon (Te Kawerau-a-Maki).

Growing Māori wahine leaders

“It’s given me a goal to strive for in my career” - Kaycee Thompson (Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Ngāpuhi).


Training kaitiaki for the awa and whenua

“This experience has changed my life because it’s shown me how to be a leader and given me full-on confidence” – Sam Ingley (Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Maniapoto).


Application form

Employers can find the Funding Guidelines and Application Form here.

More information

For more information contact your nearest Te Puni Kōkiri Regional Office.

Frequently asked questions

View Frequently Asked Questions here


Events and Updates

Latest events and updates for this section are listed below.

  • Working their way to the top with Cadetships

    • Date: 01 June 2021

    In a smoko room in Hawkes Bay hang a series of framed staff achievements. Plenty more certificates have been proudly added to the walls of this Māori owned contracting firm in the past year, due to the Te Puni Kōkiri Cadetships programme.

    Read more

  • KiwiRail’s leadership programme just the ticket for kaimahi Māori

    • Date: 14 May 2021

    A Māori leadership course run by KiwiRail is just the ticket for both the company and its employees. It’s so successful that it has been fast tracked to become KiwiRail’s number one development programme.

    Read more

  • Te Hononga: Connecting NZ Post’s Māori leaders through Cadetships

    • Date: 21 April 2021

    NZ Post is known for connecting people with what they care about. But it’s also connecting Māori staff with their full potential thanks to a partnership with Te Puni Kōkiri.  

    Read more

  • Working ‘on’ the business instead of ‘in’ it

    • Date: 16 March 2021

    ‘Making gains in the gym’ is the challenging goal set by the owners of a holistic health centre in Waikato. But the ‘new year, new you' goal isn’t just for clients, it is also for the business itself and staff. To grow into their future, the team joined up with Te Puni Kōkiri Cadetships.

    Read more

  • Iwi radio station grows homegrown media production

    • Date: 04 March 2021

    The South Island’s only iwi radio station has had to adapt to new ways of telling stories online, on-air and on the ground. To support the upskilling of its kaimahi, Tahu FM has reached out to the Cadetships programme run by Te Puni Kōkiri.

    Read more

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