Ngā Tūranga Ākonga Mahi

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


Ngā Kaupapa me ngā Pānui

Kua rārangi mai ngā kaupapa me ngā pānui ki raro iho nei.

  • Driving future diversity behind the silver screen

    • Date: 23 November 2020

    A decade ago, she was a breakout child actor from the hit movie ‘Boy’. Now Rickylee Russell-Waipuka is all grown up and making a name for herself behind the camera with support from Te Puni Kōkiri.  

    Read more

  • Ancient innovation sets path for Māori business growth

    • Date: 03 November 2020

    “We're navigating the world of software and tech, as our ancestors navigated Te Moana Nui a Kiwa,” says Jesse Armstrong, Chief Executive of Wellington-based tech company, VAKA. 

    Read more

  • Harnessing the power of community for small Māori businesses

    • Date: 03 November 2020

    “As a small business it’s cool knowing we can help Māori grow in the digital tech industry,” says the founder of a Wellington digital design agency. “The Te Puni Kōkiri Cadetship is a massive opportunity. It means so much to us all.”

    Read more

  • Wāhine Māori frame up for business boom

    • Date: 03 November 2020

    “Expanding our business means we can hit our goals to help our people in prisons - youth and rangatahi - much sooner,” says Taaniko Nordstrom, co-founder of vintage cultural portraiture photography business, Soldiers Rd Portraits.

    Read more

  • Opening new doors for Māori storytellers through Cadetships

    • Date: 16 September 2020

    When Taika Waititi took home an Oscar at this year's Academy Awards, indigenous storytellers came under the global spotlight. The owner of a Māori creative agency wants to sustain that focus, by supporting other 'creative natives' to tell their stories to the world. He has found a way to do that through the Te Puni Kōkiri Cadetships programme.

    Read more

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