About our internship programme

Our summer internship programme offers a unique opportunity for aspiring environmentalists to:

  • gain invaluable experience
  • contribute to our efforts in creating a flourishing environment for every generation. 

As an intern, you will have the opportunity to:

  • take part in delivering 'real work'
  • develop essential skills
  • engage with key stakeholders
  • attend workshops and talks
  • connect with fellow interns.

The experience will give you valuable insights into working at MfE and in the public sector.

Information for applicants

  • This is a 12-week paid internship opportunity. It includes a 2-week paid shutdown period over the Christmas break.
  • Internships are currently based in Wellington. 
  • Our recruitment process involves an online application and an interview (either online or in person). 
  • If you identify as a person with a disability, or someone who may need extra support, please let us know how we can help you throughout the recruitment process by emailing us at: vacancy@mfe.govt.nz 

Application dates and applying

  • Applications open on Monday 31st July 2023 
  • Applications close on Sunday 13th August 2023 at 11:59pm. 

We advertise internship opportunities on our Careers Centre web page.

We also advertise on SEEK, NZ Government Jobs  and our social media platforms. 

Sign up for Job Alerts on our Careers Centre web page so you don’t miss the opportunity to apply. 


Hear from recent interns

Hinauri Apa-Fepulea'i

What I'm studying

I am studying a Bachelor of Global Studies and a Bachelor of Arts conjoint at the University of Auckland. I am majoring in Human Rights, Global Politics and History.

Where I whakapapa from

I hail from the beautiful islands of Samoa! I come from the villages Moata'a, Faleasiu and Saleaula.

I also have some Irish ancestry, my ancestors immigrated to Ōtautahi during the late 19th century and descend from the Fitzgerald clan.

Mahi I worked on at MfE

I had the pleasure of working in the Adaptation Legislations Team.

I was able to sit alongside my colleagues as they consulted with many different local communities as they battled the adverse effects of climate change.

This was used to shape the research and advice about how the Climate Adaptation Bill was to be written. I also had the task of researching adaptation plans and policies available from regional, local and district councils and what gaps could be filled by central government.

Advice I'd give to future interns

I would say that it is important to think about what you would like to learn from this internship and communicate that to your mentors.

This internship is an equal balance of bringing your perspective as a new employee to MfE as well as making the most of the experience for yourself.

Make sure to communicate what you would like to experience (within reason) to your mentors so that they can help you get there!

Favourite quote

 "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the present." - Master Oogway from Kung Fu Panda.

Anna Coomber

What I'm studying 

Law and Psychology at Otago

Where I whakapapa from

Ngāti Maniapoto, Waikato-Tainui

Mahi I worked on at MfE  

I was part of the Emissions Trading Scheme Policy Team representing Waikato-Tainui through the River Iwi Internship programme. I helped write a cabinet paper and briefing note to the Minister and a memo to the climate directorate.

This mahi considered some big policy issues in the emission forestry debate. Through the River Iwi programme, the other river iwi interns and I assisted tuakana on the Environment and Climate Research Strategy.

The river iwi interns would wananga each week about issues that were important to us as rangatahi Māori. How we all felt in our various groups and what power we might have as rangatahi to make positive changes.

Some great ideas blossomed over our time: the creation of a virtual map around Pōneke, an atua day, videos, more funding for te reo Māori and cultural consideration modules were just some of the amazing whakaaro we had. If this is something you feel you want to continue, please let the internship staff at MfE know. 

Advice I'd give future interns

The internship will fly by - before you know it it will be the holiday break and then you will only have a few weeks left.

Take it slow, enjoy each part, join all the groups you can and take time to get to know everyone - interns and your team.

Even take time in your mahi, I sped through some of mine and did not take the chance to really understand the gravity of the work I was doing.

As rangatahi Māori it can be a bit daunting going into the government space, but we need you!! Give where you can but do not feel as though you cannot protect your matauranga.

Favourite quote

Work hard, play hard!

Linda Balfoort

What I'm studying

I am currently conducting an MSc in subglacial sedimentology at Te Herenga Waka – Victoria University of Wellington. I will start a PhD next year at the same university studying Antarctic ice sheet dynamics.

Where I whakapapa from

I am from the Netherlands.

Mahi I worked on at MfE

During my internship I primarily worked on a factsheet on Climate Change projections. I also helped with many other projects in my team which allowed me to learn different facets of the job.

Advice I'd give to future interns

Take the time to enjoy yourself, connect with new people, and make friends within the intern cohort. I met some of my best friends through this programme. Be proactive and make sure your voice is heard.

Favourite quote

“Nature is our biggest ally and our greatest inspiration” – David Attenborough.

Andrew Scott-Dowell

What I'm studying

I am studying a conjoint Law and Environmental Science degree, with honours in Medical Law.

Where I whakapapa from

I whakapapa from Pōneke and from Coventry in Ingarangi on my dad’s side.

Mahi I worked on at MfE

I was fortunate to work on a range of projects with the legal team.

Some of the highlights were assisting in transitioning from the Resource Management Act to the new NBE Act, preparing advice for emergency management in response to the floods and cyclone, and analysing the crown’s intellectual property obligations to Māori in light of the Waitangi Tribunal’s report Wai 262.

Advice I'd give to future interns

Throw yourself into the social and 'extracurricular' opportunities with the interns and your team as much as you can – they’re what made the MfE internship experience special for me. Don’t worry if you don’t feel settled straight away – you have plenty of time to find your feet!

Favourite quote

“So it goes” from this author Kurt Vonnegut. It’s a short and sharp one but it helps me to stay grounded with life’s ups and downs.


Chris Warne

What I'm studying

I was studying software development at Dev Academy, Wellington.

Where I whakapapa from

Sunderland, United Kingdom.

Mahi I worked on at MfE

I worked as a security analyst for the cyber security team.

Advice I'd give to future interns

Get involved and attend as many workshops and get togethers as possible. Ask lots of questions.

Favourite quote

The best way to predict your future is to create it!