Rotorua Lakes Council summer interns gain hands-on experience

Rotorua Lakes Council summer students (left to right) Behind: Robbie Meredith, Libby Wara. Front: Warna Karunanayake, Te Piataaio Raroa Borrell, Eric Sun and Ciaran Ward. Photo / Provided

The Rotorua Council of Lakes has welcomed eight rangatahi eager to learn and stay stuck through its Internship Scheme, to work within the organization during the 2021/2022 summer term.

The summer internship program has been in existence for over 20 years.

All interns have a connection to Rotorua – some were born here, others moved here later in life, and many returned with whānau during their summer tertiary holidays.

Students will gain hands-on experience in an area of ​​consulting that matches their area of ​​study.

This summer, students work across the organization in Waste Services, Transportation, Three Waters, Environmental Lab, Sports and Recreation, Te Amorangi Unit, Strategy, and Community and Regulatory Services.

The Council’s People and Organizational Development Coordinator, Louise Stanley, leads the internship program.

She says each year staff are impressed with the caliber of rangatahi who apply and the support they provide to council teams in delivering projects for our city and community.

The Student Internship Scheme is advertised from early October each year on the Council’s website page and Facebook page, as well as on the Daily Post, Student Job Search and various job boards in line of higher education institutions.

Rotorua Lakes councilor Tania Tapsell believes the internship program is a wonderful opportunity for local rangatahi to see the wide and diverse range of career opportunities within the council.

“It’s so diverse – from our parks and reserves, to engineering, to city planning – and it would be great to see people being able to use their skills locally and still thrive in the city where they grew up.”

She says our local council is lucky to have a lot of experienced staff, but it was great to also pave the way for the next generation to come along and be our leaders of the future.

Jess Lamb and Kaitlyn Lamb are also interns.  Photo / Provided
Jess Lamb and Kaitlyn Lamb are also interns. Photo / Provided

Rotorua Lakes councilor Fisher Wang also said it was great for our rangatahi to learn more about the large number of council operations and how local government works.

“For our young people, knowing many of these options for renewal and succession in many positions occupied by people close to retirement age is crucial, and we need new blood and new minds. to address the issues we face.”

He thinks the internship program is a win-win situation.

“They get insight into how the council works, it opens their eyes and minds to different opportunities and experiences, and it helps them, the council and the community.”

Rotorua Council of Lakes Interns 2021/2022

Ciaran district
Ciaran Ward, 21, grew up in the Middle East and returned home to Rotorua in 2018. He is studying law and politics at Victoria University of Wellington. Ciaran is an intern with the Community and Regulatory Services team during the summer period.
“This is my second year working with Rotorua Lakes Council. After all the interesting work and great work experience over the past year, coming back was a no brainer.”

Libby Wara
Libby grew up in Rotorua and, at 21, is studying towards a dual degree in design and marketing at Auckland University of Technology. She is an intern in the Sport, Leisure and Environment team. She was attracted to the intern role because she knew little about the Rotorua Council of Lakes and the work it does in the community, and wanted to learn more.
“I love Rotorua and for me it was important that I did an internship that would in some way give back to the community.”

Eric Sun
Eric Sun is originally from China and moved to New Zealand six years ago, spending five of those years in Rotorua because he said he loved the city so much. He studies data analysis at the University of Waikato and is an intern in the Strategy team.
“What I really want to do is use what I’ve learned to really make a difference in people’s lives. I really love Rotorua and hope that through my contribution I can help make some a better community. I feel extremely lucky to have been given this role.”

Jessica Lamb
Jessica Lamb is 18 and grew up in Rotorua with her sister Kaitlyn, who is also one of the summer interns. Jessica was interested in the internship with the Waste Services and Infrastructure team as she loves composting and the important role it plays in reversing the climate crisis. She is driven by seeing how positive changes can impact not only the well-being of people, but also the well-being of the planet, so that in the future, the impacts of climate change will be much less important.

Kaitlyn Lamb
Kaitlyn Lamb, 18, grew up in Rotorua with her sister Jessica and is also an intern in the Waste Services and Infrastructure team. She chose to study environmental science with a specialization in environmental contamination, because in this course she learns soil science and in the future wants to start an urban farm using biological/biodynamic methods. She was really excited about the role of intern working in waste management, especially educating the public about composting, because she is so passionate about the subject.

Robbie Meredith
Robbie Meredith, 19, is one of the summer interns, working in the Infrastructure group. He was born and raised in Rotorua, and recently moved to Christchurch to study engineering at the University of Canterbury.
“I really wanted to do this internship on the board because I wanted to give back to my community that I grew up in (and it’s an added bonus to be able to pay off my student loan at the same time).”

Warna Karunanayake
Warna Karunanayake, 20, grew up in Rotorua. Her family moved to New Zealand in 2002 and they fell in love with Rotorua. Warna is studying Biological and Marine Sciences at the University of Auckland and is in her final year of studies. She is an intern with the Laboratory Services team. She likes the practical aspect of science and working in the field that interests her is her greatest motivation.

You can read the full biographies of the summer interns on the Rotorua Lakes Council Facebook and Instagram pages.

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