Six Pasifika students and graduates who completed the inaugural Tupu Tai internships say they have gained a better understanding of New Zealand's public sector and the government departments they worked with say they have left lasting impressions.
The Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment led the programme along with other government agencies in the hope of improving services and better reflecting the country's diverse population.
MBIE's Chief Advisor Pasifika, Matalena Leaupepe said Tupu Tai aimed to provide exposure to young Pasifika who were ready to enter the workforce.
She said it also aimed to widen their networks of areas of influence and provide policy experience with the hope that it would encourage them to work in the sector.
However Ms Leaupepe said the various government agencies also learnt from the interns.
"There is not a lot of policy people across the public sector and because we spread all the students out, they were often the only Pacific person in those teams. So it was quite an eye opener for the teams to have a Pacific person in there and it really taught them to step out of their own comfort zones to learn about what it is like to work with a Pacific staff member," Matalena Leaupepe said.