The Ministry for Women supports the Tupu Tai summer internship programme for Pasifika tertiary students interested in a career in public policy which is run annually by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).
We have had four interns: Rosalie Maiava-Zajkowski (2020/21), Sulu-Danielle Joshua (2019/20), Sina Ete (2017/18) and Enya Roughan (2018/19). As part of their time at the Ministry, students work a range of issues, producing a paper which they present on at the end of the Tupu Tai summer internship programme. Read Sina's paper on Effective policies helping low income women get into better employment, Enya's literature scan on Unpaid work- a Pacific perspective and Rosalie's paper on Realising Pacific potential in Aotearoa New Zealand .
New Zealand public sector organisations need to make sure they have the highly skilled employees they need to succeed and grow in the future. Tupu Tai is a great way for Pacific tertiary students to explore the public policy profession and get a taste of what it’s like to work in the public sector. Pacific peoples are underrepresented in the New Zealand public sector, especially in high skill, high wage roles such as Policy. Pacific people are a young population (55 percent of the Pacific population are younger than 25 years old) and will represent an increasing percentage of the available work force (potentially 30 percent of the work force in Auckland by 2026).
New Zealand is increasingly diverse. Studies have shown a link between diverse workforces and higher financial returns for the employer. This may be attributed to the diversity dividend – the increased innovation, customer orientation, investment and international trade brought by a diverse labour market and society. New Zealand businesses have an opportunity to maximise the diversity dividend to gain a competitive advantage in the global marketplace. Realising the diversity dividend involves overcoming unconscious bias – a form of discrimination where employers and employees associate certain traits or activities, such as men with Tech. Changing attitudes and beliefs requires inclusion. Inclusion starts with attracting and recruiting for diversity, and then implementing a successful diversity programme. Tupu Tai provides an important vehicle for recruiting for diversity and helping public sector employers and Pacific workers develop the competencies to respectively create and thrive in a diverse workplace.
Tupu Tai addresses these barriers by proactively targeting these students and helping them develop the skills and gain the experiences and networks necessary to succeed in mainstream recruitment.