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New Zealand Parliament

Group of interns standing before the Library Meeting room doors.

2012 parliamentary interns from the Victoria University Political Science and International Relations Programme. Photo: Parliamentary Service Collection.

10 April 2012
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Parliamentary interns to work with members of Parliament

Parliament will host 14 interns this year as part of a programme offered by the Victoria University Political Science and International Relations Programme, in cooperation with the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Parliamentary Service. Read more...

The programme is in its 13th year and provides an opportunity for honours students from the school to have first-hand experience of Parliament and politics in action. Professor Stephen Levine is the supervisor for the interns.

Students are required to spend one day a week working in the office of a member of Parliament where they are assigned projects relating to the work of the member. They also produce a seminar presentation and a research paper on different aspects of Parliament and the parliamentary process. Some of these papers have subsequently been published. Interns do not receive any remuneration for this time.

The first intern programme was started informally in 1979, and was expanded in 2000 into the current year-long programme.

Professor Levine said the effort is rewarding for the students, who benefit significantly from participating in the internship programme. Some students continue with further academic studies, but many go directly into policy and administrative positions.

The programme works with the cooperation of the Parliamentary Service and with the support of the Speaker, who presents a prize – the Speaker’s Prize – to the top intern. The prize for the most worthy student from last year’s programme was presented this month by the Speaker, the Hon Dr Lockwood Smith, to Lara Penman.