Growing the Puna

Growing the Puna is an internship programme for ākonga Māori enrolled in a degree or postgraduate level in hauora, sports, physical activity, or nutrition. It is aimed at those who are genuinely interested in growing their skill set, developing their skills, knowledge, and networks to contribute meaningfully to whānau, hapū, iwi and sectors in the realm of sport, nutrition, exercise, and physical activity.


The internships aim to provide opportunities for students to participate in the development of an innovative approach to physical activity and nutrition in a project that has reciprocal benefits to both the student and the health sector.


Growing the Puna grew out of the desire to fill an identified gap between students (who have a particular focus on physical activity and/or nutrition) and both Māori communities and the health sector. Additionally, conversations in communities highlighted the necessity to strengthen the connections between knowledge creators and knowledge users recognising that all three – communities, tertiary providers, and the health sector – play roles as both creators and users.

As part of Growing the Puna, Students have the opportunity to:

  • Participate in Toi Tangata training and activities alongside other Growing the Puna interns
  • Complete an article for the ezine (electronic magazine)
  • Complete a final research findings article (1500 words)
  • Have fun and take on new learning experiences alongside the team

Students will participate in a range of mahi, with a key focus on their project. They will learn about the different kaupapa led by Toi Tangata alongside staff, participate in mātauranga based learning, and complete a small research project.  We have a range of topics to suit different interest areas. It is expected that applicants will highlight their interest topic, however there is no guarantee that students will be allocated that topic.

Skills the Student will learn:

  • An understanding of the Māori public health, nutrition, or physical activity sector through interaction with the Toi Tangata team;
  • Develop an understanding of whakapapa and mātauranga approaches to oranga kai, oranga tinana, oranga wai;
  • Develop the ability to complete small research kaupapa;
  • Students will also have the chance to present this work at the Toi Tangata Hui ā Tau.


Growing the Puna Internship 2024 information sheet


Apply here