Ngāi Tahu and Cora announce intern programme to bring the future of flight to Aotearoa

Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu today announced a new internship programme with New Zealand-based Zephyr Airworks, the operator of Cora, a self-flying air taxi. The internship programme is part of Te Pōkai Ao, an iwi initiative which puts young Ngāi Tahu on a path to become future leaders in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) related fields.

The internship programme will provide two rangatahi (of university age) with the opportunity to work over the 2019/2020 summer period with the Zephyr Airworks team who are bringing Cora – the world’s first self-flying, electric air taxi – to market in Aotearoa.

The internship programme was announced in Mountain View, California during the Te Pōkai Ao group visit to the facility that designs and builds the Cora aircraft. During the visit 20 young leaders received a tour and spoke with team members involved in the development and testing of Cora.

Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu Chief Executive Officer Arihia Bennett said: “This is what Te Pōkai Ao is all about – giving our future leaders an opportunity to broaden their horizons and explore innovative opportunities. It was great to see this group of young Ngāi Tahu get insight into the cutting-edge technology under development at the Cora Facility. This goes to the heart of the work we do as an iwi to create opportunities for future generations.”

“Māori are the fastest growing population in New Zealand, so it is critical that we make sure our rangatahi are set up to succeed and contribute to the future of this country. The STEAM fields are not only high-value industries, but also areas where our rangatira of tomorrow can have a positive impact on issues we face today, such as climate change.

Cora’s New Zealand spokesperson, Country Director Anna Kominik said: “Given the curiosity and creativity demonstrated by the visiting Te Pōkai Ao group at our facility, we are anticipating a high calibre of candidates for these internships. Our team was impressed with the group’s interest in our technology and design, asking insightful questions about the future of urban air mobility. These young leaders have a shared passion for the planet and learned how Cora was designed with the health of our planet in mind.”

“Harnessing and nurturing the passion for the future of flight has been a driver for establishing this internship programme and supports the connection that has formed between ourselves and Ngāi Tahu whānui.

“Building a strong pipeline of talent is also part of our wider commitment to Aotearoa, as we are actively developing high-value skills and creating new employment opportunities.”