Summer interns at Rotorua Lakes Council get hands-on experience

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Summer interns at Rotorua Lakes Council get hands-on experience

Rotorua Lakes Council has welcomed eight rangatahi who are eager to learn and get stuck in through its intern programme, to work within the organisation over the 2021/2022 summer period.

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The summer intern programme has been running for more than 20 years.

All the interns have a connection to Rotorua – some were born here, others moved here later in life, and many have returned to be with whānau over their summer tertiary break.

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The students will get hands-on experience in an area of council that aligns with their field of study.

This summer, students are working across the organisation in Waste Services, Transport, Three Waters, the Environmental Laboratory, Sport and Recreation, Te Amorangi Unit, Strategy and Community and Regulatory Services.

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Council’s people and organisational development co-ordinator, Louise Stanley, runs the intern programme.

She says every year staff are impressed by the calibre of the rangatahi who apply, and the support they give council teams to deliver projects for our city and our community.

The student intern programme is advertised from early October each year on the council’s website page and Facebook page, as well as through the Daily Post, Student Job Search and various tertiary institution online job boards.

Rotorua Lakes councillor Tania Tapsell thinks the intern programme is a wonderful opportunity for local rangatahi to see the huge and diverse range of career opportunities within council.

“It’s so diverse – from our parks and reserves, to engineering, to town planning – and it would be awesome to see people be able to use their skills locally and continue to thrive in the town they grew up in.”

She says our local council is lucky to have a lot of experienced staff but that it was great to also be paving the way for next generation to come in and be our leaders of the future.

Summer interns at Rotorua Lakes Council get hands-on experience

Jess Lamb and Kaitlyn Lamb are also interns. Photo / Supplied

Rotorua Lakes councillor Fisher Wang also says it is great for our rangatahi to learn about the large number of operations that come under the council umbrella, and how local government functions.

“For our young people to learn about a lot of those options is crucial for the renewal and succession to a lot of positions which are held by people nearing retirement age, and we need young blood and fresh minds to tackle the issues we are faced with.”

He thinks the intern programme is a win-win situation.

“They get to gain an insight into how council operates, it opens their eyes and minds to different opportunities and experiences, and it helps them, the council and the community.”

Rotorua Lakes Council interns 2021/2022

Ciaran Ward
Ciaran Ward, 21, grew up in the Middle East and returned home to Rotorua in 2018. He is studying law and politics at Victoria University of Wellington. Ciaran is an intern with the Community and Regulatory Services team over the summer period.
“This is my second year working at Rotorua Lakes Council. After all the interesting work and great experience the job was last year, coming back was a no-brainer.”

Libby Wara
Libby grew up in Rotorua and at 21 years old is studying towards a double degree in design business and marketing at Auckland University of Technology. She is interning in the Sport, Recreation and Environment team. She was drawn to the internship role because she knew little about the Rotorua Lakes Council and the work it does around the community, and wanted to find out more.
“I love Rotorua and for me it was important that I did an internship that in some way would give back to the community.”

Eric Sun
Eric Sun is originally from China and moved to New Zealand six years ago, spending five of those years in Rotorua as he said he loves the town so much. He is studying data analytics at the University of Waikato, and is an intern in the Strategy team.
“What I really want to do is use what I’ve learnt to actually make a difference in people’s lives. I really like Rotorua and I hope through my contribution I can help make it a better community. I feel extremely lucky to have been given this role.”

Jessica Lamb
Jessica Lamb is 18 years old and grew up in Rotorua with her sister Kaitlyn, who is also one of the summer interns. Jessica was interested in the internship with the Waste Services and Infrastructure team because she loves composting and the important role it has in reversing the climate crisis. She is motivated by seeing how positive changes can impact not only people’s wellbeing, but also the wellbeing of the planet so that in the future the impacts of climate change will be much less significant.

Kaitlyn Lamb
Kaitlyn Lamb, 18, grew up in Rotorua with her sister Jessica, and is also an intern in the Waste Services and Infrastructure team. She chose to study environmental science majoring in environmental contamination because within that course she learns about soil science and in future would like to start up an urban farm using organic/biodynamic methods. She was really excited about the internship role working in waste management, especially in public education around composting, because she is so passionate about the subject.

Robbie Meredith
Nineteen-year-old Robbie Meredith is one of the summer interns, working in the Infrastructure group. He was born and raised in Rotorua, and recently moved to Christchurch to study engineering at the University of Canterbury.
“I really wanted to get this internship at the council as I wanted to give back to my community that I grew up in (and it’s an added bonus being able to pay my student loan at the same time).”

Warna Karunanayake
Warna Karunanayake, 20, grew up in Rotorua. Her family moved to New Zealand in 2002 and they fell in love with Rotorua. Warna studies biological science and marine science at the University of Auckland, and is in her last year of study. She is an intern with the Laboratory Services team. She loves the hands-on aspect of science, and working in the field of her interest is her biggest motivator.

You can read the full biographies of the summer interns on the Rotorua Lakes Council Facebook and Instagram pages.

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