Rangatahi Academy Internships

We come from a long line of future-makers – it’s is in our whakapapa – our tūpuna were bold, fierce and uncompromising in their ability to achieve the impossible, voyaging unchartered waters and with vision, tenacity and innovation went about laying claim to Aotearoa as the place to settle – a place where we adapted to the environment and the environment adapted to us so that each was in balance and thriving. Such was the legacy of our ancestors – what will be the legacy of your generation?

The Rangatahi Academy supports the development of a skilled, productive, and resilient Māori workforce. We are on the lookout for passionate rangatahi to join and grow our team of future makers – bold, fierce rangatahi who are uncompromising in their vision and passion. Whatever it is that drives you, whether it’s – the environment, technology, science, media, education, health – we want to hear from you! 

You don’t need any past experience or qualifications to apply – just the passion to create a better future for our whānau and communities.

We are the best people to design and make the changes necessary to tackle: inequities, racism and injustices at the root – to create the future that ensures our best lives.

Join our team for 12 months of intensive future-making and together let’s create a world where Māori are empowered to live their best lives. This is a fixed term paid position however, interns will be able to re apply for a second term. 

The closing date for Expressions of Interest is 5pm, Friday 26 March 2021. If you have any pātai or require more information, please contact Madison Simons, Rangatahi Lab Director: madison.simons@ngaitahu.iwi.nz

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Imagine a future that we get to create, because we are the ones that will be living it.

The Process

Expression of Interest

Make a booking to chat with us!

Please book a time for a kāwhe and a chat with one of our team using the form below. These will be held via zoom.


The Māori Futures Academy is a social innovation lab that puts rangatahi at the forefront of solving complex problems to design the future. At the lab we work with our partners to generate ideas, research, learn by doing and use insights to design solutions. Our academy is modelled on the Stanford University d School and the Foundation for Young Australians YLab.

We are looking to recruit a group of interns with diverse skills, passions and experience. You don’t need to have any particular qualifications or experience. The most important things for us are that you:

  • Want to change the world to make it a better, fairer, more just place;
  • Believe in the power, capability and dreams of Māori communities to pursue the social transformation that matters most to our communities;
  • Are a good human who believes in building your mates and rolling your sleeves up to do what needs to be done;
  • Are curious about what it takes to change the world and driven to learn about transformation, impact and creating the new;
  • Are excited about working in a high paced, high energy environment with a mix of personalities and passions, and; 
  • Are resilient and can cope with ambiguity – this is our first year running the internship programme. It will be amazing but we don’t know what we don’t know yet and, like doing anything new, we won’t always get it right the first time.

No, a tertiary qualification isn’t a prerequisite, however it is expected that over your time with the academy that we will work together to build a recognisable future qualification pathway for you.

Yes this is a paid internship. All successful interns will be paid a prorata living wage dependent on the number of hours worked weekly. 

We will work with all successful applicants, to develop a workplan that takes your study commitments into account. Our expectation is that you will manage your time in a way that works best for you.

There isn’t really an average week in a social innovation/lab environment. Our wider team meets on a Monday and a Friday morning to check in on where we are all at and reflect on the week that’s been or the one ahead. Beyond that, each day and week will be different because we work on a range of projects that aim to create systems and social change. Each of these projects has its own flow – some need research, some need to have movements built around a cause for change, others need facilitated design workshops. Over your time with us, you’ll work on a number of different projects doing different types of roles in the team (researcher, facilitator, note taker and more). Across your journey, we’ll work with you to make sure you build a diverse range of skills and are stretched in a supported way. We’ll also help you to manage your time between your work and study requirements in a way that works best for you.

All interns will have a work base in the Tokona Te Raki innovation lab space at Te Whare o Te Waipounamu, 15 Show Place, Christchurch. There may be some flexibility to work from home part of the week if that is your preference.

The lab space is an informal creative environment. We have a limited number of formal work stations and a big space for wānanga, jamming and collaboration.

The scope is limitless and always evolving. We do have a range of future making kaupapa currently on line including: data gathering and analysis on the future of work, leading the movement to end streaming in our schools, rangatahi voice, research and developmental evaluation. We also have a range of projects in the pipeline that engage with systemic barriers to equity, hapū development and more. Our aim is to align your work in the lab with your strengths and passion for a particular kaupapa – we want to unleash your future making super powers!

We encourage and 100 percent support interns who have a particular passion project they wish to pursue in our innovation lab environment. We will work with you to find the opportunities to support you to get your projects off the ground. We want to support you to unleash your future making super powers!

You will receive training in social innovation and collaborative innovation tools, work on live projects with our team, contribute to our teams mahi, build relationships and networks with like-minded people and organisations, create your own tools to navigate complexity using your rangatahi worldview and contribute to transforming the systems that don’t work for us as rangatahi Māori.

The Māori Futures Academy is your apprenticeship in future making – tackling complex challenges through collaborative problem solving/social innovation. The skills you develop through your internship will include lots of the in demand skills: complex problem solving, emotional intelligence, people-to-people skills, leadership and more.

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