Policy Graduate Programme

Our policy graduate programme is a 16-month, Wellington-based development training programme that will help kick start your career in policy.

Applications for 2022 have now closed. Applications for the 2023 cohort will open in March 2022.

Why work for us

We are a large and complex global organisation with over 4,000 staff. We play a big role in shaping and influencing New Zealand peoples’ standard of living and quality of life through policy.

Policy professionals provide the evidence and information that government ministers need to make informed decisions on public policy issues.

We consider graduates from all backgrounds. As an organisation we would like to be able to represent the communities that we serve.

We are looking for grads and interns who have genuine interest working in policy and/or government, and making a difference for all New Zealanders.

It’s exciting and challenging work that could see you looking at a range of interesting and high-profile issues including government priorities and hot media topics. These issues could be as diverse as:

  • how we can make New Zealand businesses more internationally competitive
  • how to ensure all regions benefit from tourism
  • how to protect people from loan sharks
  • how to ensure housing supply and affordability
  • planning the country’s response to humanitarian crises.

You will gain experience across a broad range of areas and access development opportunities to quickly advance your career. You’ll be exposed to a wide range of perspectives, with opportunities to work closely with other government agencies, senior officials, ministers and key influencers outside of government.

About the programme

Our robust, structured training programme includes:

  • a supportive induction programme to help get you quickly up-and-running
  • on-the-job learning opportunities designed to expose you to a wide range of policy issues
  • an intensive development programme designed to develop your policy craft
  • ongoing support, feedback and direction to help you progress your policy career
  • a great cohort of graduates to support and grow alongside you.

The programme is based in central Wellington, which is a vibrant compact city filled with sporting and cultural events, and generally considered New Zealand’s political, scientific and cultural heart.

At the end of the 16-month graduate programme, you’ll be placed in a new team as a policy advisor in our head office in Stout Street, Wellington. You’ll work Monday to Friday, 37 hours and 55 minutes per week.

We are looking for:

  • skilled writers who write clearly, accurately, and logically
  • critical thinkers who use well-reasoned logic to solve problems
  • evidence gatherers who research, identify, and make use of relevant information
  • nimble learners who are flexible and responsive to change
  • supportive team players who build partnerships and work collaboratively
  • persuaders and influencers who gain the trust and support of others
  • purpose-driven actioners who take on new opportunities and tough challenges
  • decision-makers who make sound decisions, even in the absence of complete information.

Minimum requirements:

  • You can have no more than 1 year post-graduation full-time work experience
  • You must have graduated, or will finish your study, before February 2023.
  • You must have achieved at least a B average (please use the Victoria University GPA calculator to calculate your GPA).
  • You must have the ability to legally live and work in New Zealand.
  • You must pass all our employment vetting and approval standards.

If you have any further questions, or to register your interest, email our Graduate Recruitment team at: grad.enquiries@mbie.govt.nz.

Selection process

  1. Online application form
  2. Situational judgement questionnaire
  3. Competency-based video interview
  4. Written assessment
  5. Assessment centre (in Wellington) including:
    1. Aptitude tests (abstract, verbal, numerical)
    2. Personality questionnaire
    3. Competency based interview
    4. Group exercise
  6. Reference checks.

Applications for 2022 have now closed. Applications for the 2023 cohort will open in March 2022.

More information

If you have any further questions, or to register your interest then email our Graduate Recruitment team at: grad.enquiries@mbie.govt.nz.

Last updated: 26 March 2021