Nelson Tasman Grad Programme

The Nelson Tasman Grad Programme is a collaboration between local organisations to attract top graduate talent to the region and expose them to the diversity of employment opportunities available. The vision is to create a pipeline of future talent and ambassadors for the region who are excited about Nelson Tasman as a great place to live and establish a career.

This programme is delivered as a collaboration between the Nelson Tasman Innovation NeighbourhoodIntepeople and the Nelson Regional Development Agency, with support from the Ministry of Social Development.


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Our experience with the Grad Share Programme has been highly positive. Our graduate has brought enthusiasm and a willingness to try unfamiliar tasks and added vibrancy and diversity to our business. We have enjoyed being part of an innovative programme, adding to our reputation as a great place to work by showcasing exciting grad opportunities.
- Jenny van Workum, Human Resources Manager, OneFortyOne

Invest in Nelson Tasman’s future while investing in tomorrow’s talent.

Register Your Interest

The programme is delivered as a collaboration between the Nelson Tasman Innovation Neighbourhood, Intepeople and the Nelson Regional Development Agency

Graduates are employed by individual organisations across Nelson Tasman but are treated as one ‘cohort’ that come together as a group for a two-year professional development programme and social events.

This provides graduates with a collaborative experience similar to Grad programmes in larger centres – while also giving them the unique advantage and opportunity of being exposed to multiple businesses and industries within the Nelson Tasman region.

Another unique element of the programme is the option for a ‘shared grad’ where the graduate experiences multiple employers over two years (i.e., 4 x 6-month; 3 x 8-month; 2 x 12-month placements). This allows for smaller organisations to be involved who may not want a 2-year commitment. It also provides a valuable one-of-a-kind experience for the graduates. For this option, Intepeople employs the graduates for two years and then leases them out to each organisation – lessening the administrative cost for those involved.

  • Contribute to developing a pipeline of talent for our region and your organisation’s future.
  • Enhance your graduate’s experience by being part of the programme.
  • The Grad share option allows you to access Grad talent without the full two-year commitment and investment.
  • Bring new ideas and fresh perspectives to your organisation and add to the vibrancy and diversity of your culture.
  • Help make your organisation more competitive and become known as a great place to work by showcasing exciting employment opportunities.
  • Provides a leadership development opportunity for your existing employers who may step up as a one-on-one mentor or leader.

  • Commit to hiring a graduate for a minimum of six months full-time employment (this can be project based or general business).
  • If taking part in the Grad share, work collaboratively with Intepeople and other participating organisations to recruit, interview and hire.
  • Provide on-the-job support for the graduate to have a worthwhile employment experience.
  • Ensure your graduate is available for most of the shared development and social sessions and be willing to host an event. 
  • We encourage all organisations to pay the living wage of $22.75/hr.

  • Marketing and promotion of the programme nationally
  • Recruitment coordination and support
  • Coordination and timetabling of the programme
  • Event organisation
  • Central point of contact for the graduates (in addition to their employer contact)

It is up to each business to find, interview and hire their own grad (unless working through Intepeople for a Grad share placement), however we support this by marketing the programme nationally, including:

  • Promoting the programme and listing all roles on the Nelson Tasman website
  • Marketing the programme through Nelson Tasman and Nelson Regional Development Agency digital channels and other appropriate channels (e.g. University fairs)
  • Media coverage
  • Attending career expos
  • All roles are shared via Intepeople and Nelson Tasman Innovation Neighbourhood members
  • Advertised through NZUniCareerHub providing direct access to 435,000+ university students and graduates across seven universities all in one go

The aim is to engage a graduate for a fixed two-year period. The grad can either be employed by the one organisation for the whole period or can be shared over the period between participating organisations. The mahi can be either project work or general business. In the past, a Bachelor of Commerce graduate experienced four Nelson Tasman organisations covering forestry, infrastructure, tertiary education and public sector industries. There is no requirement for graduates to have a guarantee of a permanent placement at the end of the two-year period.

We provide support to match organisations wanting to take part in the share programme. The framework is very flexible for grads moving between ‘contracted’ organisations:

  • 4 x 6 month placements, or
  • 3 x 8 month placements, or
  • 2 x 1 year or a full 2 years.

The order of the rotation around participating organisations will be by mutual agreement between the organisations. It is the intention that the duration in any organisation will be split evenly over the two year period by the number of participating organisations.

Intepeople provide support for organisations taking on a ‘shared’ Grad. For ease of managing the employment relationship in this shared scenario, Intepeople will employ the grad for a fixed term (approximately 2 years). Intepeople will then ‘lease’ the grads to the participating organisation. Where there is a single two year placement, the contract is directly between the employer and the grad.

The variety of experience has been amazing. Within a two year period, I am being mentored by four different Human Resource teams in four diverse organisations. This is knowledge and learning you just can’t pay for.
- Selena Tunnicliff, Pilot Grad Student, Nelson Tasman Grad Programme