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New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs : Services : Information for Interns 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

Application Forms

Contact Us

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Information for Interns

The Community Internship Programme is a great chance to make a truly constructive contribution to your community, based on your professional skills and experience.

People who have previously participated as interns have said the following:
  • "This is a unique opportunity to learn and explore new dynamics and skills. It is also an opportunity to pass on skills cumulated over the years, to people who can go on and make a difference".
  • "It has been a great experience for me, a learning experience. It has been a unique opportunity to be allowed to observe and take part in different culture and values".
  • "I stretched myself personally and professionally. Challenged some of my assumptions, preconceptions and thinking."
  • "I came back to the (home) organisation with a renewed energy, feeling refreshed. It felt like I had been on a six-month holiday. I was less cynical and had a new perspective on things."
  • "I have refined my skills in community and event organising and made new contacts and networks that will be valuable to my home organisation. I have learned facilitation techniques for running workshops."
  • "It helped me to know the various ethnic groups and their problems. ... Improved interpersonal skills, relationships, computer and research skills".
  • "Better understanding of basic community needs, whether individual or organisational".
  • "I am using the people skills I learned during the internship from dealing with different people. I can more quickly identify client's strengths and weaknesses, and pick up on issues. I am just generally more aware of them as people and can assess the situation more accurately. I am also far more patient and I think more responsive to those who walk through the door. I have more understanding of the issues they face, and how the knock-backs affect their lives".
  • "Learning new skills, meeting new people and working in the community while getting paid for it has been great."

How it works

Interns are employed for a limited time to undertake tasks or a work programme identified by the host organisation. Your internship may be:
  • through secondment from your home organisation,
  • by taking leave without pay from your current employment, or
  • by being contracted out by your employer / home organisation.
These details will need to be arranged with the agreement of the host organisation and your employer / home organisation.

The host community organisation receives a grant for your salary. Interns negotiate their own employment agreement with the host organisation for the period of the internship, although the funding received by the host organisation from the Department of Internal Affairs is non-negotiable. You may wish to discuss with your employer / home organisation the possibility of them supplementing your pay to sustain your current salary rate and maintaining any other employment conditions you are currently enjoying.

Please note: The Community Internship Programme is not designed to cater for individual internship proposals from overseas, nor for students wishing to complete a course of study or to fulfil the practical experience requirements of a course of study.

What you need to do:
  • Read the goals of the programme and personal and professional development opportunities a community internship may provide for you (and also for your employers).
  • Gain the agreement of your home organisation to apply. Your home organisation will need to be a participant and signatory to the application, agreeing to your participation in the programme.
  • Identify a host community organisation to apply with. For example, the organisation you work for may be seeking to strengthen its relationships or understanding within a specific community of interest, or with a community stakeholder, or you may have always wanted to offer your skills and experience to assist a community organisation that you support. If you do not have a host community organisation to apply with, your local Community Development Group advisor may be able to offer some suggestions where your skills may help make a difference. Refer to Contact Us.
  • Together with the host organisation and your home organisation, complete the Intern's application processes as detailed in the How to Apply section of How the Programme Works. An updated CV, written statement of you interests in undertaking an internship and your agreement to the proposed work programme, hours and duration of the internship project.
  • Applications close on Thursday 23 March 2006. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.

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Last updated: 16/12/2005