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Where Will Our Rivers Take YOU?

For application opening dates please click here


To apply for a summer student programme
please click on the relevant logo

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You can make
a real difference

as a River Engineer



A career working in river management is a great opportunity to use your engineering skills and experience to truly impact on Aotearoa’s future prosperity.

River and flood protection schemes provide security to around 1.5 million hectares of our most productive and intensely used land.


They also protect hundreds of towns and cities, and critical infrastructure such as hospitals and schools, ensuring communities live safely alongside our rivers. 


It’s the role of the river teams to protect these vital assets. 

A career in river management will see you involved in core functions including:


• Engineering design for flood control
and drainage infrastructure


• Asset (infrastructure) management


• Flood and natural hazard management


• Coastal monitoring and management of flood protection
schemes at river mouth openings


• Gravel resource management


• Erosion and plant pest control


• River channel/river course management



So what does a career in river management look like?


Make a real difference for our community


Floods are Aotearoa’s most common natural hazard, with potentially devastating social and economic impacts on local communities. 

Flood management schemes protect our homes, businesses and essential services such as hospitals, schools, roads, railway, power, the internet and water supply infrastructure on which community wellbeing depends. Looking to the future we need smart, sustainable engineering solutions for our first line of defence.


Make a real difference for our climate future


The frequency and intensity of flooding is predicted to increase through the effects of climate change. We need to design works that are culturally sensitive taking a holistic approach to the health of our rivers to build resilient communities and meet the challenges of a changing climate. The risks to intergenerational wellbeing will become more difficult and costly to address over time. Now is the time to act and we need fresh thinking to help us prepare for the future.


Make a real difference for our environment


Aotearoa’s rivers are important and iconic taonga (treasures). Alongside solutions such as stopbanks, groynes and gravel management there are many opportunities to utilise natural infrastructure such as riparian planting and wetlands that can also support important cultural and biodiversity outcomes in our rivers. Working with Māori to provide effective outcomes is a key part of this work.

Join us for our 2021/2022

Summer Student Programme

Join us and gain some first-hand experience



What’s on offer?

A summer student programme provides a full induction and ongoing learning opportunities. You’ll gain valuable work experience and the opportunity to apply the skills and knowledge you’ve gained from your engineering degree.


How long is the programme? 

Summer students usually start work in mid-November after exams are finished and finish in mid February. The exact timing will vary slightly from Council to Council.

What will I do? 

You'll work alongside the river management or asset management teams gaining real life experience and putting your engineering skills to work.

Will I get paid?   

Yes. Your hourly rate will depend on your experience, year of study and any extra qualifications you might have.

Who are you looking for?   

Ideally we are after students in their final year of a civil or natural resources engineering degree, but we are open to those with a natural science/hydrology  degree – and the right attitude.

Why should I choose a council for work experience?  


It’s a great opportunity to work with experienced teams on catchment wide-projects of regional and national significance. Councils often have significant resources and infrastructural assets.


When do applications open?


Application opening dates will vary from Council to Council. Please check for more accurate timings or get in touch with our team at

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