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New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs : Services : Information for Host Organisations Skip to Access Key assignments for this site
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Community Internship Programme

The difference between a community internship and a community project

How the Programme Works

Information for Employers/ Home Organisations

Information for Interns

Information for Host Organisations

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Information for Host Organisations


The Community Internship Programme offers you a fantastic opportunity to improve your capabilities as an organisation by utilising skills and experience from outside your normal reach.

There may be areas of business or operational development that no one from within your organisation is able to progress. Lack of expertise or knowledge can be a real hurdle to the progress and effectiveness of your organisation. This is the hurdle the Community Internship Programme aims to help you leap.

If your not-for-profit organisation needs access to skills and experience beyond the range of your own governance or staff capabilities, and you feel that you could offer a good internship experience to a person with those skills, then the Community Internship Programme is for you.

How it works

The Local Government and Community Branch of the Department of Internal Affairs provides each successful host organisation with funding for the salary of the intern (plus GST, if registered). The host community organisation is responsible for the provision of administration and resources to support the internship.

(Please Note: In certain circumstances the Panel may consider lowering the salary subsidy for the Intern to cover resource costs. However, it is expected that host community organisations will have planned for, and can provide for, the administrative and resource costs associated with hosting the intern and undertaking the internship).

Host organisations may apply for community internships of 3 months, 4.5 months or 6 months duration, with the agreement of the intern and their employer / home organisation. Refer to How The Programme Works for further detail.

In looking for an intern to assist your organisation to achieve its development objectives, you may have an ongoing relationship with a government department, local authority, business, service provider, partnership or another community organisation, who may have a staff member or volunteer interested in the professional or personal career development opportunities provided by a community internship experience.

Whether it is your organisation that initiates the internship proposal, or an organisation you work with, or one of their employees, all three parties to the internship proposal need to participate in the planning and development of the internship proposal. Developing a good understanding of each other's respective goals, roles and expectations helps to ensure that the internships benefits gained from the internship are available to all three parties.

As one former Intern expressed it:
    "The good relationship between my host and home organisation enabled me to plan towards the internship without any major difficulties, as there was agreement on how the internship would add value to the goals of both organisations."

A former Host Organisation articulated the key factors in the success of their internship experience:


    “The success of this project was largely due to the personal and professional attributes of the intern and her ability and flexibility to fit in and communicate with the host organisation. I believe that we were very fortunate in this and can see that this could be problematical if it were not so.”

Proposals will be considered for internships that will:
  • Strengthen the organisational capacity of the host organisation, resulting in on-going benefit to the organisation and the community it serves well beyond the term of the internship.
  • Allow the intern to share their particular knowledge, skills and experience with the host organisation, laying the foundations for the host organisation to develop further.
  • Strengthen the skills, networks and community experience of the intern, so that the intern’s home organisation also benefits.
  • Develop and/or improve the relationship with the intern's home organisation, contributing to strengthening the relationships between the voluntary, community, public and private sectors.

What you need to do
  • Read the goals of the programme and consider the development or capacity needs of your organisation.
  • Identify a potential intern and/or home organisation with whom to apply. If you need assistance in finding an appropriate intern, your local Community Development Group advisor may be able to assist with suggestions. Refer to Contact Us.
  • Complete the Host Organisation application processes detailed in the How to Apply section of How The Programme Works. You need to also ensure that the proposed Intern and their Home Organisation have completed the requirements of their sections of the application processes. NB: It is the responsibility of the Host Organisation to ensure that the application processes are completed in full, including the information required from the proposed intern and their Home Organisation.
  • Applications close on Thursday 23 March 2006.
  • Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.

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Last updated: 16/12/2005