Graduate Programme

Our policy graduate programme is a 16-month, Wellington-based development training programme that will help kick start your career in policy.

Applications for the 2020 cohort are now closed.

Why work at HUD?

By joining HUD you'll be part of an organisation that is tackling one of New Zealand’s biggest challenges and providing solutions for growing our urban centres and communities, to improve the wellbeing of all New Zealanders.

Policy professionals provide the evidence and information that government ministers need to make informed decisions on public policy issues.

We are looking for grads and interns who have genuine interest working in policy and/or government, and making a difference for all New Zealanders.

It’s exciting and challenging work that could see you looking at a range of interesting and high-profile issues. Such as:

  • Housing quality
  • Urban growth
  • KiwiBuild
  • Tenancy system
  • Homelessness

You will gain experience across a broad range of areas and be given development opportunities to quickly advance your career. You will be exposed to a wide range of perspectives, with opportunities to work closely with other government agencies, senior officials, ministers and key influencers outside of government.

Introduction to the Graduate Programme

Our graduate training programme includes:

  • a supportive induction programme to help get you quickly up-and-running
  • on-the-job learning opportunities designed to expose you to a wide range of policy issues
  • an intensive development programme designed to develop your policy craft
  • ongoing support, feedback and direction to help you progress your policy career
  • a great cohort of graduates to support and grow alongside you.

The programme is based in central Wellington, which is a vibrant compact city filled with sporting and cultural events, and generally considered New Zealand’s political, scientific and cultural heart.

Minimum requirements

  • You can have no more than 1 year post-graduation full-time work experience
  • You must have graduated, or will finish your study, before February 2020.
  • You must have achieved at least a B average (please use the Victoria University GPA calculator to calculate your GPA).
  • You must have the ability to legally live and work in New Zealand.
  • You must pass all our employment vetting and approval standards.

If you have any further questions, or want to register your interest then email our Graduate Recruitment team at

The Graduate Recruitment Process

  1. Online application form
  2. Situational judgement questionnaire
  3. Competency based video interview
  4. Assessment centre (in Wellington) including:
    1. Ability testing
    2. Personality questionnaire
    3. Group exercise
    4. Competency based interview
  5. Reference checks.

Meet our graduates

Maisie 3

- HUD Policy Graduate

My experience as a grad exposed me to select committee meetings, supporting the Minister in the House and working on complex policy issues that will impact many New Zealanders. The last 16 months has prepared me for my current role as a policy advisor by exposing me to important and challenging work while being supported by my manager, team and other colleagues. The culture at HUD means everyone is valued and you will get to do work that actually matters to New Zealand.

Eleanor 1

- HUD Policy Graduate

The graduate programme was a great way to start out in the workplace. Not only did I receive a bunch of training but I was also in the same boat as other recent graduates all trying to figure it out alongside me. This camaraderie, as well as the dynamic, high-trust and fast-paced work environment has made my transition into full-time work really enjoyable. The culture at HUD is really amazing, the junior people here are valued, invested in and supported as well as being challenged and given great opportunities. 


- HUD Policy Graduate

I’ve really enjoyed being a graduate policy advisor at HUD. The environment is fast-paced, positive and supportive, with a good mix of formal training and on-the-job learning to help develop your skills. I’ve got to work on really interesting things like writing policy for the Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities Bill, discuss with Ministers how to best support Māori interests and aspirations in urban development, and support the Minister of Housing and Urban Development when meeting with various stakeholders.

Meet our graduate - Crystal Tawhai

Listen to what Crystal Tawhai, one of our 2019 policy graduates has to say about her experience in the programme.

Contact Us

Got questions about working at HUD? Email us

Published: May 18, 2020