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Graduate and summer intern recruitment

Updated: 23 July 2013

The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) is committed to developing the next generation of professional leaders in the industry. The goal of our Graduate Development Programme (GDP) is to ensure that at the end of their time in the programme (typically 3 to 4 years) our graduates are well on their way to becoming ‘Professional Members’ of, and the most sought after professionals in, their chosen industry. Our commitment to this goal has been acknowledged through our accreditation as a Professional Development Partner with IPENZ.

Each year we also offer summer internships to second and third year students.

On this page

Who we look for

In addition to a strong academic track record, we look for graduates with the following attributes:

  • energy and self-motivation for action;
  • strong interpersonal skills to build positive relationships;
  • commitment to doing the best job possible and to making their team a winning one;
  • passion for what they do;
  • passion for transport;
  • good self-awareness;
  • the ability to communicate clearly and confidently with different people; and
  • the ability to work flexibly and to cope with different work demands and timeframes.


NZTA is a leading client organisation and has responsibility for ensuring the highway network is operated safely and efficiently. We maintain and improve the network as well as plan and develop new highways. We manage some of the largest infrastructure projects in the country and work collaboratively with a wide range of contractors and consultants in order to achieve our outcomes. We look for graduates with a Civil Engineering degree which is Washington Accord recognised.


NZTA promotes the integration of land use and transport planning across New Zealand. We work closely with local councils on regional growth strategies, regional policy statements, long term council community plans, district plans and land use planning. We also work with approved organisations to invest in their delivery of transport outcomes. We look for graduates with a Planning degree, preferably recognised by the New Zealand Planning Institute.


The Transport Agency invests in land transport services and infrastructure through the National Land Transport Programme, which is focused on delivering transport solutions that will help communities across New Zealand thrive. To ensure we maximise our investment capacity in the future, we have been seeking to bring forward more innovation to our investment mechanisms, to those traditionally used by NZTA. We look for graduates with a Commerce/Business degree with majors in either finance, economics and/ or accounting.

Summer interns

We look for students with the same attributes and areas of study as the graduates we seek for the GDP. Our summer interns are students with the potential to join the GDP.

Why join the NZTA GDP?

The NZTA GDP is tailored to support graduates in realising their potential. Being part of the NZTA GDP means we commit to your future as a professional. In return for your energy, passion, commitment and participation, the NZTA GDP will provide you with:

  • a dynamic and challenging environment where you can get client, contractor, consultant and council experience;
  • the chance to work in different aspects of your profession, allowing you to broaden your experience and knowledge and discover where your talents lie and where you might like to specialise;
  • support, including financial, in working towards professional registration in your field;
  • coaching and mentoring for your ongoing career development, including around your next steps at the end of the programme;
  • access to some of the country’s leading experts in your field;
  • exposure to some of the largest infrastructure projects in New Zealand;
  • the opportunity to work in different offices or regions;
  • fixed remuneration in the range of $45,815-$61,985 and an annual performance-based review.

We have 11 offices from Whangarei to Dunedin, so we may have a graduate role where you want it.

Engineering careers fairs

If you want to know more about the NZTA, our GDP and summer internships, come and meet us at the Engineering Careers Fairs. We will be at the University of Auckland on Tuesday 30 April and the University of Canterbury on Thursday 9 and Friday 10 May 2013.

Hear from our current graduates

Jason Forbes

Jason Forbes

Jason Forbes – BE (Hons) GIPENZ, Graduate Engineer/Project Manager, Dunedin Office.

“The Graduate Development Programme provides a unique experience where you can work as the client, consultant and contractor. This was ideal for me because, when I finished my degree, I was unsure about which path I wanted to go down.

“I’m only just into my second year at the NZTA but I have already been exposed to a whole range of professional areas. I have managed a number of projects, worked on road assessment and maintenance , and even acted as the asset manager of the coastal Otago network.

“The NZTA is a great place to work. The staff are all friendly and happy to help, and with the range of work available, you will not get stuck pushing paper.”

Caitlin Kelly.

Caitlin Kelly

Caitlin Kelly - Masters of Planning Practice (Hons), Resource Planner, Hamilton Office.

“I’ve really enjoyed the variety of opportunities I’ve had at the NZTA. Moving to Hamilton to work as a planner has had its advantages, as there is such a range of activities and growth within the Waikato region. I have been involved in a variety of developments such as mining operations, dairy farm operations, conservation projects, urban intensification and large scale industrial developments. I have enjoyed the support and assistance from the NZTA in developing my skills as a planning professional and member of the NZ Planning Institute (NZPI). My colleagues at the NZTA are passionate about planning practice and information about planning issues, reform and development is shared and discussed on an ongoing basis.

“I’d recommend the NZTA's Graduate Programme for the range of work and opportunities that it offers. Members of the NZPI are required to have a broad range of knowledge and an understanding of issues - and my work at the NZTA is enabling me to develop these skills. I feel the work I contribute makes a difference, which is one of the main reasons why I chose planning as a career.”

Andrew Rowe.

Andrew Rowe

Andrew Rowe - BE Civil (Hons) Graduate Engineer, Wellington Office

“I am in my second year as a NZTA graduate and have now worked in many different parts of the civil engineering industry.

“I have worked with transport planners, consultants, contractors, project managers and a procurement team. The programme has offered enough flexibility for me to explore the industry’s work opportunities, which has helped me find, and focus on, my preferred area of work.

“At the same time, I have been able to attend professional courses as I work towards becoming a Chartered Professional Engineer."

Mark Read.

Mark Read

Mark Read - BE, Graduate Engineer, Palmerston North Office

“The NZTA graduate development programme has been a great first step in my professional career.

“In six months I’ve had the opportunity to work in a wide range of fields and on a variety of projects within the transport sector, which has given me a good grounding in the civil engineering industry. I have also had opportunities for further training relevant to my professional development.

"Within a month of being on the job I got to manage a design and construction project for the Manawatu region which has given me real opportunities to influence outcomes and manage a project to completion."

Adrienne Black.

Adrienne Black

Adrienne Black – Bachelor of Management Studies, Investment Analyst, Auckland Office.

"As transport investment is such a hot topic for Auckland there could not have been a more exciting time to be a part of the Auckland/Northland Planning and Investment team.

"Since joining NZTA a year ago I have had the opportunity to review and approve a number of projects to be progressed in the Auckland region. This has given me an applied understanding of roading and public transport investment in New Zealand. It is exciting to know that the work I am doing will have a significant impact on the lives of people living in Auckland."

"As well as gaining an understanding of the traditional funding process, I am part of a National team which is looking for innovation in our Investment Development approach. This has provided a great learning opportunity and is a real eye-opener given the future funding challenges. I have also had the opportunity to attend many presentations in the wider business environment, which are aimed at helping to grow an awareness of the significant role NZTA plays in New Zealand's economy."

"I am looking forward to further developing my investment and finance knowledge through my work at NZTA."

How to apply

Between May and June our GDP and summer internship openings are advertised under current vacancies in the NZTA Careers Centre. This year we also have opportunities for planning and investment graduates being advertised in July 2013. By creating an NZTA Careers Centre account you can apply to vacancies and create job alerts so you can be notified of when we’re accepting GDP and summer intern applications.

GDP selection process

Following the closing date for applications, we conduct a review of all the CVs, cover letters and questionnaires to select a longlist of candidates. We then hold assessment centres in Auckland and Christchurch (typically in July) in order to select our shortlist of preferred candidates. For the planning and investment graduates we will be looking to hold an assessment centre at the beginning of September 2013. Sometimes we will hold final interviews in August prior to making our offers.

See you at the Careers Fairs
Visit our stand at the Engineering Careers Fairs – University of Auckland 30 April and University of Canterbury 9-10 May – and have a chat about what we can offer you.