Suncorp New Zealand welcomes seven TupuToa interns for 2020

24 November 2020

Suncorp New Zealand has welcomed seven new interns to the organisation this week as part of its ongoing partnership with TupuToa.

This is Suncorp’s third year partnering with the TupuToa internship programme, which aims to grow the next generation of Māori and Pacific business leaders by creating employment pathways into the corporate sector. 

Executive General Manager People and Culture, Catherine Dixon, says supporting the TupuToa internship programme is part of Suncorp’s commitment to creating an inclusive workplace that reflects the diversity of New Zealand’s community.

“As part of our journey to develop New Zealand’s business leaders of the future, we’re striving to grow opportunities, visibility and recruitment of a diverse workforce, which includes Māori and Pacific employees,” she says. 

Earlier this year Suncorp increased its sponsorship with TupuToa to Major Partner, and will increase the number of intern opportunities it offers for the next three years

Catherine Dixon, Executive General Manager People and Culture

“We’re proud to welcome a larger cohort of interns than we have before, and the benefits of this programme certainly flow both ways,” Dixon says. “The value our interns have added to our business has seen an increased appetite from our executive team to host an intern, which has prompted the decision to increase Suncorp’s sponsorship with TupuToa.”

“As well as impressive university results, the interns bring to our business a high level of enthusiasm, flexibility, diversity of thought and willingness to get involved in our business. It’s great to see each of them immerse themselves in their new teams and make their mark here at Suncorp New Zealand,” says Dixon.

Interns Maria Ah-Lam, Sonny Deol, Lu'isa Finau, Julia Fraser, Madeline Penewi, Siona Leilua-Toilolo and Katie Quirke will join us for three months to gain experience in teams across our business.

Suncorp New Zealand's 2020 TupuToa interns: Siona, Maria, Madeline, Katie, Lu'isa, Julia and Sonny

Kage Te Hira, a 2019 TupuToa intern with Suncorp, says the internship programme has supported him to grow and succeed in his finance career. 

Shortly before his three-month internship came to an end in early 2020, Kage was offered a year-long contract as an accountant in Suncorp New Zealand’s finance team.

“I had my heart set on landing a full-time role with Suncorp from my first week in the business. It was easy to see that the company culture is one of kindness, inclusion and encouragement,” Te Hira says. 

“The TupuToa internship not only connected me with my own heritage, it gave me the confidence to pursue a career I was passionate about. My leaders were so supportive of my ambition to stay within the business and guided me towards opportunities that turned it into a reality.

“I feel privileged to be here to welcome our next TupuToa interns, because I know they are about to embark on a journey with Suncorp that they will find extremely rewarding.” 

Dixon says she would encourage any New Zealand business to consider a partnership with TupuToa as part of their diversity and inclusion programme. 

“It’s inspiring and rewarding to support Maori and Pacific students to consider a career in the corporate sector, and our interns over the past three years have also made an incredible contribution to our business and the visibility of Pacific Culture and tikanga Māori within Suncorp.”

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Media enquiries: Lisa Meiklejohn +64 27 404 4355

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