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Internship Project

New Zealand Internship Programme

The New Zealand Internship Programme (NZIP) places research students into a variety of New Zealand security agencies to undertake a real-world research project. 

The internship is available to both Centre for Defence and Security Studies (CDSS) students and other Massey University students with permission from their programme. The intern will be tasked with undertaking a pre-determined research project identified as of importance to the agency they are placed with.


This invaluable research experience provides graduate students with the applied professional development which results from working within a professional organisation.  Consequently, the NZIP has a track record of providing new career pathways and a competitive edge for future employment for our interns.

Graduate students

You can undertake an internship by being accepted into the intern programme (which is dependent on your academic record) and then enrolling in the research courses 294.798 (30 credits), 294.799 (60 credits) or 294.820 (60 credits).  Internships tend to be in the first semester, but full year and second semester options do also exist.  

Placements are available in a variety of locations throughout the country.

Benefits of the Internship Programme

There are three main benefits for our interns from the internship programme:

      • The student will undertake a valuable and unique applied research project investigating a contemporary question of importance for a New Zealand security or Government agency.
      • The internship will provide the student with the important professional experience to develop their future employment profile.
      • The internship allows the student to combine their professional development with the completion of a CDSS qualification.

For further information and to find out how to apply contact: Dr William Hoverd - or telephone: 04 801 2792

Intern profiles

See how some of our students have benefited from an internship through the NZ Internship Programme.

Ashleigh Walker

Ashleigh Walker

Ashleigh Walker, a Wellington based full-time Master of International Security student completed the NZ Internship Programme undertaking research at NZ Police National Headquarters with their Family Violence Team. In her thesis, supervised by Dr Wil Hoverd, she analysed national and district level data on the delivery of protection orders to victims of family violence.

She received official recognition of excellence through a Postgraduate Scholarship award from Graduate Women Manawatu.

Whilst studying, Ashleigh also worked as a tutor for the Centre for Defence and Security Studies and completed the thesis component of her Masters in June 2016.

Ashleigh has now secured a position as an Analyst at Police National Headquarters.

Chris de Wattignar

After 14 years in the New Zealand Police, the internship provided me with vocational access to a different government agency.  Coming from a leadership role in policing, this was a great opportunity for me to see how other parts of government operate, especially as it relates to national security. The programme gave me a wider appreciation for how New Zealand's security environment works and where policing sits within that system.

For my project, I was able to work for 12 weeks within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade conducting research on the Chemical Weapons Convention. This was invaluable to my professional development, by focussing my analytical skills across a broad range of information and sources. I sought and located multiple streams of data, including existing open-source literature, government officials, academic experts and legal documents. This in itself was extremely valuable, as I was working in with ‘live’ information, with the intent of providing MFAT with a professional report that would contribute to the development of national policy.  So instead of just writing for the sake of showing my critical-thinking skills, I was working to add value to New Zealand's standing in the international community.

Another major benefit was that I had the advantage of having two supervisors, one at Massey and one at MFAT, to bounce ideas off and flesh out the bones of my report.  As the report was finalised, I delivered an oral presentation, where I received feedback from both Massey University and MFAT staff. This was a fantastic opportunity to test my thinking and presentation skills with a new audience.

Since completing the programme, I certainly feel that I have increased my contribution to New Zealand Police by broadening my experiences, stretching my research and writing proficiency, and gaining invaluable insights into how other government agencies operate.

Justine Moore

Justine Moore

I have recently completed the Master of International Security (Intelligence) which included an internship with the New Zealand Police. This qualification has given me the skills to successfully change to a career in intelligence.  

I originally trained and worked as a paramedic in Australia before working for the Victorian State Government at the Transport Accident Commission. The Masters of International Security allowed me to develop an understanding of what intelligence is and be able to make an informed decision about changing careers. A key part of this was completing an internship with the New Zealand Police based in Counties Manukau. During my internship I researched youth issues within the district with a focus on how to prevent future youth offending. The internship helped me to further develop my skills in building relationships, analysis and my ability to comprehensively research topics.   

The Masters degree and specifically the internship allowed me to develop a practical understanding of the intelligence cycle and the role that I can take within this. As a result I was able to successfully change my career and am now working for the New Zealand Police as an Intelligence Analyst. Since completing the internship I have worked for both the Counties Manukau District and the Financial Crime Group based at the Police National Headquarters.

Inspector Jason Malcolm says that the Massey Internship program was a huge success for both Justine and the New Zealand Police.  A range of projects and prevention initiatives are always in need of further research and development and Justine was able to combine the academic requirements with police policy and procedure.  Justine’s work has certainly contributed to identifying future opportunities in preventing youth offending.  Justine’s skills, knowledge and experience were a perfect match for the New Zealand Police and the Massey Internship program has certainly been beneficial to both parties.