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Step 1: Guidelines – what you need to know

What is Sexy Summer Jobs?

Sexy Summer Jobs is a paid internship programme for Dunedin businesses and tertiary students.

The programme aims to retain skills and talent in Dunedin by helping the city's businesses find talented students to meet their business needs.

Sexy Summer Jobs enables businesses to test an intern's capabilities in a real-world environment, often giving them the confidence to employ a student on a more permanent basis – around 50% of the interns placed are offered an employment contract post-internship. 

Businesses can find an intern through their own networks and can also attend a ‘Speed Dating’ event to meet potential interns in person. The internship project should challenge and stimulate the intern. Internships typically run for 8-16 weeks, depending on the type of project/s given to the intern.

A fund has been set up to help Dunedin businesses take on a student intern, which reduces the level of risk when employing a new person.



We ask businesses interested in taking part in the programme to ensure that:

  • The internship project is robust and well thought out: projects that will challenge and stimulate the intern, while helping the business build capability, improve productivity and stimulate growth are ideal.
  • Interns are paid fairly for their contribution to your business: while bootstrapping and having free interns in your business has value, we believe in offering fair remuneration in exchange for talent.
  • Intern expectations are managed: please don't raise an intern's expectations of a permanent role in your business if that is unlikely to happen.


The programme aims to support businesses involved in high growth sectors, such as Creative/Design, Biotechnology, Education and Research, Information and Communications Technology, Niche Manufacturing. 

You can apply to take on an intern if you are:  

  • An owner or employee of a GST-registered Dunedin-based business working within the laws of New Zealand
  • Able to show that the business has the capability and commitment to support the financial and social well-being of an intern, including sound HR and financial systems

To apply, please complete and submit the application form online. 

If you simply want to register your interest in the programme, please contact Chanel O'Brien at [email protected] or phone 474 3736. 



Businesses taking part in the Sexy Summer Jobs programme are eligible for funding to help cover the costs of the intern’s remuneration. Funding is paid at the end of the internship once the required documentation has been submitted.

Businesses involved in the programme need to ensure that the following online reports are completed by 30 June 2017:

Other required documentation should be scanned and emailed to [email protected] on completion of the internship:

  • A tax invoice per intern against “Dunedin City Council” quoting the order number provided
  • Payroll records for each intern showing payment dates, amounts and the intern's signature

The funding must be taken up before the end of the financial year. No extensions are available and retrospective claims will not be accepted.



Finding interns

Typically most interns are found locally. The University of Otago and Otago Polytechnic are ideal places to find interns and we can connect you directly to these institutions. A “Speed Dating” style event is held in September on campus and is another way for you to connect with potential interns. 

You can find interns from any part of the world as long as they have the appropriate Visa Type issued by New Zealand Immigration. If relevant, evidence of the Visa Type should be forwarded to Enterprise Dunedin along with the final business and intern reports, which are due before 30 June 2017.

Businesses choose from the pool of interns available according to their business needs. For example, IT businesses may pick marketing or design interns to complement the technical skills they have and to help them build capability in those areas.

Businesses need to ensure that they have appropriate HR systems in place to be able to support interns in their business if issues arise. Manage expectations - please don't raise expectations of a permanent role in your business if that is unlikely to happen. 

Remuneration of the internship is your decision. This can vary but the business must have the funds at hand to be able to pay the intern. You may pay interns on a project basis or through their normal remuneration channels. Businesses typically pay interns between $16-$25 per hour.


Speed Dating

Each year, the Sexy Summer Jobs programme holds a Speed Dating event, where business people talk with students about their business needs and students can tell businesses about their skills.

You can arrange to meet a potential intern for another discussion sometime after the Speed Dating event or offer them an internship on the spot! 

We try our best to get the right talent to come, but there are no guarantees. You can find interns from other sources. Go directly to the University of Otago and Otago Polytechnic, other tertiary education providers or through your own national and international networks.