A heartfelt farewell to our 30 Māori and Pasifika interns

02 April 2024

Manawa Āko – Heartland Bank’s internship programme 

This summer’s Heartland Bank Manawa Āko internship programme saw 30 high performing rangatahi placed throughout different areas of our business.  

The programme, specially designed by our people, gave the opportunity for the next generation of Māori and Pasifika to experience working in the financial sector and a corporate environment. Built on the Māori concept of ‘ako’ (which means to learn and to teach), the programme also offers a significant opportunity for Heartland Bank to gain insight from the cultural perspectives its interns bring. 

Heartland Bank has welcomed 138 interns through its doors, since 2017. To date, over 40 of these interns have continued in ongoing employment at Heartland Bank. And we encourage those who are not already employed are encouraged to return to Heartland Bank during their next summer break. 

Māori and Pasifika together make up around 20% of Aotearoa’s working population. However, according to MBIE, in 2020 Māori representation in the financial sector was just 2 percent, and Pasifika even lower.  

At Heartland Bank, we want to provide opportunities to a demographic that is not typically seen in corporate environments, and we’re making a positive impact and are seeing a positive change in our employee demographic. Māori and Pasifika representation at Heartland Bank has shifted from 3% in 2018 to 7% 2022. The Manawa Ako programme has been a key driver for this change.   

This year, the Manawa Āko programme provided Heartland Bank access to exceptional talent from InZone Education Foundation, Tangaroa College, King’s College, Manurewa High School, Rotorua Boys’ High School, Ngā Puna o Waiōrea, and Auckland, Victoria and Otago Universities. 

Heartland Bank’s Manawa Ako programme is all about building lasting memories and opportunities and providing a reciprocal learning experience between our interns and our people. A tuākana (buddy) was assigned to each intern and an agreed work plan kept them engaged in the business for the duration of the internship. 

Manawa Ako provides Heartland Bank interns a great start to their working life and is intended to fuel their future aspirations.  


Click on the image above to watch a snapshot of the 2023/2024 Heartland Bank Manawa Ako intern programme.