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09 December 2021 | Announcements

The Warehouse Group welcomes TupuToa interns

The TupuToa Internship Programme is an employment pathway for Māori and Pacific tauira (interns/learners). The success of the programme is a collective, built on partnerships across New Zealand’s leading corporates and community and public sectors, who actively mentor and provide pastoral support to penultimate and final year university students over a twelve-week summer internship programme.

This year, The Warehouse Group have become a Major Partner and have committed to a three-year partnership with TupuToa. The Group have recently welcomed four TupuToa interns with identified leadership potential. The programme seeks to ensure that Aotearoa’s workforce is representative of our cultural diversity, by developing and empowering tauira to unlock their full potential and building cultural capability within their partner network.

Richard Parker, Chief Human Resources Officer at The Warehouse Group says the programme will enable the interns to gain valuable knowledge and develop essential leadership skills. It is also an opportunity for the Group to learn from the interns, who bring fresh perspectives and the latest industry knowledge through their tertiary education.

“We are committed to broadening employee representation and to increase diversity of thought within the business. We are so proud to be partnering with TupuToa, which enables creativity, innovation, and organisational agility.”

TupuToa was borne five years ago from the need to see increased Māori and Pacific representation in leadership positions in the corporate sector. Statistics show that only 17 per cent of New Zealand’s top 60 firms have an executive who identifies as other than European/Pākehā. Māori and Pacific peoples also represent a younger population, making up a significant proportion of the future workforce.

TupuToa’s programmes have gone from strength to strength, growing each year. The first cohort comprised of 28 interns over a partner network of 20, with this year being their largest to date, with over 300 opportunities and a partner network of over 164.

Grace Hickson, Buying and Design intern says, “I’ve really enjoyed learning about The Warehouse Group’s agile way of working. It’s great to see team members from various disciplines bringing their skills together to work toward a common goal.”

As part of the partnership with TupuToa, leaders at The Warehouse Group have access to attend a Cultural Competency Workshop. This training provides the Group the opportunity to share their pepeha and whakawhanaungatanga (the process of building relationships), expanding on opportunities for diversity of thought within leadership positions.

During the internship at The Warehouse Group, tauira will gain experience in their chosen field of study, including in disciplines such as Data Stewardship, Buying, and Planning.

Lyric Bidois, Buying Intern says, “Interning at The Warehouse Group has provided the ability to put my degree to work in a real-life context.”

Many of the interns are the first in their families to undertake tertiary study. With the level of support, guidance and pastoral care the TupuToa Navigators provide, and the networking opportunities with professionals across the industry, they are well equipped to succeed in a corporate environment.

Talalelei Reweti, Lead Navigator at TupuToa says the programme enables interns to put theory into practice through gaining experience in a corporate setting.

The Warehouse is an iconic brand here in Aotearoa and it’s encouraging to see one of our own [an iconic New Zealand brand] doing something to grow the number of Māori and Pacific peoples that are employed at The Warehouse Group, especially in the corporate area of the business.”

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