Updating Results

Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade

3.6
  • #3 in Government & public service
  • 1,000 - 50,000 employees

Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade Graduate Programs & Internships

  • Government & Public Service

Kia hangai ake e te Manatū Aorere he ao-haumaru, ao-tōnui, ao-pūmau, ki te oranga tonutanga mo Aotearoa whānui - The Ministry acts in the world to build a safer, more prosperous and more sustainable future for New Zealanders.

We, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT), are the Government's specialist foreign, trade and development policy advisers, international legal advisers and negotiators. Our work is challenging, ever-changing, and important to the safety, prosperity, sustainability, and ultimately the well-being of New Zealanders. We're based in Wellington, New Zealand, with an office in Auckland and diplomatic representatives in 50 countries around the world.

Te Tiriti o Waitangi is at the core of our work, and Te Tiriti principles provide the foundation for how Aotearoa New Zealand conducts its foreign policy. We live our values of kotahitanga, manaakitanga, courage and impact, and seek to support our staff from all backgrounds to succeed. They also reflect our global partners and to New Zealanders the qualities of the country we represent: a tolerant, diverse, inclusive and welcoming society. Our values support Te Kawa Mataaho Public Service Commission's focus on the spirit of service and help us deliver to New Zealanders in an increasingly challenging global environment.

As a Policy Officer with MFAT you'll have:

  • A diverse, exciting and challenging career ahead of you starting out in our Wellington headquarters.
  • The opportunity to rotate through a range of roles focused on international issues affecting New Zealand. You'll find yourself starting work in one of a range of areas including advancing New Zealand's relations with other countries, climate change and the environment, international development, international law, trade negotiations, international security, disarmament and arms control.
  • It may, after a period of time in Wellington also include service in one of the 59 overseas Embassies, High Commissions or Consulates we manage.

From day one as a full-time MFAT employee, you'll undertake meaningful work - applying the skills acquired at university and elsewhere in challenging real-world situations.

We provide many benefits to support our people as part of building and sustaining a happy, high-performing whanau. We are committed to a focus on leadership, talent, training and development, and flexible work options.

Recruitment Process

Selection Criteria

The nature of our work is broad-ranging, so we welcome applications from graduates from all walks of life, perspectives and degree disciplines. Your university grades aren't the be-all and end-all; we want to hear about your interests, motivations, creativity, and most importantly how you will contribute to MFAT's goals and values.

Those who really stand out will have skills or experience to help you thrive in this environment - things such as volunteering or leadership experience, cross-cultural and language skills, academic excellence, a strength in Mātauranga Māori and/ or knowledge of the Pacific.

To be eligible for our graduate programme, you should be:

  • New Zealand Citizen - Or have submitted an application with DIA
  • Bachelor's level tertiary qualified (in any field, not just law, economics or politics)
  • 3 months minimum work experience in any industry - part-time or full time
  • Able to gain and maintain an appropriate security clearance

These are the must-have – minimum requirements

You are not required to have more than one degree or post-graduate qualification, as per previous years – We are looking for a bachelor's level qualification and are happy to consider a wide range of degrees as we really value the diversity of thought this brings.

We travel a lot for work and will be posted overseas for a few years at a time - so you need to be comfortable with this.

With all this travel you will require a diplomatic passport, so it is essential that you are both a citizen of NZ (or have already submitted your application) and that you can gain and maintain an appropriate national security clearance.

Our recruitment for our intern and grad programmes is a 3-step process:

  1. Online applications, keep an eye on our website dates and info on when applications open and close. You'll need a CV and unofficial transcript ready to upload.
  2. Online assessments: Each assessment is a stage of the selection process and helps us to identify whether you have the key skills and behaviours we look for in our grads. These online assessments typically get completed over three weekends and include cognitive testing, a video intro and written exercise.
  3. Competency-based interview: This is where it gets exciting, we want to know more about you, what you like to do outside of university and why you want to join MFAT! This is a 60-minute competency-based panel interview, with questions that will be based on the skills and attributes we say we are looking for in our advert and position description.

This year we are planning to review our Early in Careers programme to ensure we are delivering the best possible outcomes both for MFAT and for our new starters.   This means that the date for kicking off recruitment for our Aorere and Vaka Internships, and the Foreign Policy Graduate Programme is still to be determined. 

With this in mind, please ensure you keep your candidate profile up-to-date via our careers website. Your profile also provides the option to subscribe/unsubscribe to our Job Alerts and these messages will let you know about new vacancies that match the criteria you have outlined including any Graduate or Intern recruitment.

Remuneration & Career Growth

Creating a meaningful career, one that grows and evolves as you do, is so important. With us you'll have the opportunity to grow, evolve, learn new skills and do work that matters. Our 12-month Foundations programme (Advanced Foundations for Intermediate level Policy Officers) will offer you the practical experience, training and development you need to build a career as unique as you. We'll help you create the career you want, where you confidently tap into your passions and do more with your degree.

How do we support you? We provide a range of opportunities to support and develop our people for the future, including:

  • Comprehensive induction
  • 12-month Foundations programme
  • Leadership development
  • In-house career advisory services
  • Language training
  • A great cohort of graduates to grow alongside you
  • Access to a wide range of staff networks (Te Pou Māori, Vaka Pasifika, Rainbow, Women's, Ethnic and many others)

Jobs & Opportunities

Locations With Jobs & Opportunities
  • Wellington
Hiring candidates with qualifications in
B
Business & Management
C
Creative Arts
E
Engineering & Mathematics
H
Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences
I
IT & Computer Science
L
Law, Legal Studies & Justice
M
Medical & Health Sciences
P
Property & Built Environment
S
Sciences
T
Teaching & Education
Current Jobs & Opportunities

Internship, Clerkship or Placement

Wellington
We welcome tauira Māori and Pasifika to join us on summer 2024 for our Aorere and Vaka Policy Internship programmes.
Applications Close
7 Aug 2024
Start Date
16 Nov 2024 - 20 Dec 2024
Salary
NZD 46,112 / Year

Graduate Success Stories


  • Graduate stories
The coolest part of my job so far has to be travelling overseas to represent Aotearoa New Zealand during trade negotiations. As daunting and stressful as it is when you’re sitting at the negotiating table, it is certainly a position I feel incredibly privileged to be in.

Hayley Kim

  • Graduate stories
The coolest part of my job so far has to be travelling overseas to represent Aotearoa New Zealand during trade negotiations. As daunting and stressful as it is when you’re sitting at the negotiating table, it is certainly a position I feel incredibly privileged to be in.

Hayley Kim

  • Graduate stories
There are many opportunities for learning and development, not only within your set role but outside of it too. I have been fortunate to have had such supportive teams that encourage and push for these kinds of experiences that have allowed me to up-skill and better myself.

Dreesana Gaitau

  • Graduate stories
There are many opportunities for learning and development, not only within your set role but outside of it too. I have been fortunate to have had such supportive teams that encourage and push for these kinds of experiences that have allowed me to up-skill and better myself.

Dreesana Gaitau

  • Graduate stories
The coolest part of my job so far has to be travelling overseas to represent Aotearoa New Zealand during trade negotiations. As daunting and stressful as it is when you’re sitting at the negotiating table, it is certainly a position I feel incredibly privileged to be in.

Hayley Kim

  • Graduate stories
The coolest part of my job so far has to be travelling overseas to represent Aotearoa New Zealand during trade negotiations. As daunting and stressful as it is when you’re sitting at the negotiating table, it is certainly a position I feel incredibly privileged to be in.

Hayley Kim

  • Graduate stories
There are many opportunities for learning and development, not only within your set role but outside of it too. I have been fortunate to have had such supportive teams that encourage and push for these kinds of experiences that have allowed me to up-skill and better myself.

Dreesana Gaitau

  • Graduate stories
There are many opportunities for learning and development, not only within your set role but outside of it too. I have been fortunate to have had such supportive teams that encourage and push for these kinds of experiences that have allowed me to up-skill and better myself.

Dreesana Gaitau


A Day In The Life Of


  • Day in the life

Levi Turner

On a normal day, I’ll use this time until the end of the day to really make sure I accomplish multiple tasks. I fire off emails, set up meetings and clear my to-do list. My role at the Ministry is a balance foreign policy and development activities.
  • Day in the life

Levi Turner

On a normal day, I’ll use this time until the end of the day to really make sure I accomplish multiple tasks. I fire off emails, set up meetings and clear my to-do list. My role at the Ministry is a balance foreign policy and development activities.
  • Day in the life

Victoria Brownlee

I meet regularly with other government agencies to update them on what is happening internationally, so I review the latest information and determine the key points that I’ll contribute for MFAT.
  • Day in the life

Victoria Brownlee

I meet regularly with other government agencies to update them on what is happening internationally, so I review the latest information and determine the key points that I’ll contribute for MFAT.
  • Day in the life

Levi Turner

On a normal day, I’ll use this time until the end of the day to really make sure I accomplish multiple tasks. I fire off emails, set up meetings and clear my to-do list. My role at the Ministry is a balance foreign policy and development activities.
  • Day in the life

Levi Turner

On a normal day, I’ll use this time until the end of the day to really make sure I accomplish multiple tasks. I fire off emails, set up meetings and clear my to-do list. My role at the Ministry is a balance foreign policy and development activities.
  • Day in the life

Victoria Brownlee

I meet regularly with other government agencies to update them on what is happening internationally, so I review the latest information and determine the key points that I’ll contribute for MFAT.
  • Day in the life

Victoria Brownlee

I meet regularly with other government agencies to update them on what is happening internationally, so I review the latest information and determine the key points that I’ll contribute for MFAT.

Videos


Myth Busting

We always welcome talented people like yourself. Watch this video to find out what it’s really like working here - including putting straight a few things you may have heard about us.

2022 Māori & Pasifika Job & Internship Super Fair | Manatū Aorere: MFAT

Watch Manatū Aorere: MFAT reps talk about how their graduate program and how to succeed in the Government & Public Service sector!

Myth Busting

We always welcome talented people like yourself. Watch this video to find out what it’s really like working here - including putting straight a few things you may have heard about us.

2022 Māori & Pasifika Job & Internship Super Fair | Manatū Aorere: MFAT

Watch Manatū Aorere: MFAT reps talk about how their graduate program and how to succeed in the Government & Public Service sector!