Rickee Te Wini: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Rickee Te Wini shares his journey and turning his passion into a career.

Rickee Te Wini

  • Legal Adviser
  • Conjoint Bachelor of Arts and LLB Degree, double majoring in Japanese and Māori Studies

What does your role entail at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade?
I started in February 2018 after graduating and was in my first role for about 15 months, working directly with our senior leadership team to contribute to various organisational improvement priorities, including diversity and inclusion and values.

I am now part of another division, providing legal and foreign policy advice on sea-level rise, climate change, Tokelau and Pacific Fisheries.

In between my two roles, I was posted to Japan for six months around the Rugby World Cup period – it was awesome. It certainly helped that I’d been there twice before and can speak the language. As well as supporting the Embassy’s work to lift our strategic cooperative partnership with Japan, I was also helping to leverage the Rugby World Cup to further New Zealand’s strategic interests.

Did your career plans change as your studied?
Yes, many times. When I was in high school I wanted to be a chef; but I also had a curiosity for Japanese language and culture. By the time I started university, all I wanted to do was study arts and eventually teach English in Japan. Then I got into law and although my passion was Japanese, I needed to turn that passion into a career; and in my final year, I heard about MFAT and the amazing work they do around the world, the opportunities to represent New Zealand and New Zealanders, and I knew that was where I wanted to be.

How valuable was your internship/grad programme for you as a student? How did this help you fine-tune where you wanted to head?
I never interned, but I worked at the university for several years while I was studying towards my degrees.

Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years’ time?
I’ll be in my current role for at least a year, I really want to build up my experience and I’m keen to do more travel. There are four or five trips already planned for this year alone! In five to ten years I see myself being posted somewhere in the world, putting all the experience I’ve gained to work with other international players to make positive action in the world.  

What would your advice be to students applying for a graduate programme at MFAT?
Don’t underestimate how you can apply your area of study or any life experiences you might have had, there are so many options at MFAT!

Get Recruitment Ready is coming up, don't miss out!

Looking for an Internship or Graduate role next summer / in 2021? Want to put your best foot forward and land that job? Employers recruit for these in Semester One, so act now!

Join us on Thursday 20 February for the one-day ‘Tips to Get Recruitment Ready’ event, to set you up for success in the competitive graduate recruitment and internship process.

Date: Thursday 20 February
9.30am - 3pm
LibB10 Lecture Theatre, Library Basement

We’re on the lookout for our next intake of Foreign Policy Graduates at MFAT!

Take your career global and work across diverse issues, cultures and communities. MFAT help to provide answers to global challenges that affect New Zealanders by leading work in areas like development and humanitarian activities, environmental and climate change issues, trade negotiation, security and bilateral agreements. Our people are diplomats, negotiators, analysts, and advisers based in over 50 countries across the globe.  

We’re interested in diversity of thought, so we value a wide range of academic backgrounds: from sciences to languages and arts, to economics, and everything in between. A conjoint or post graduate qualification is not a requirement. As we represent New Zealanders’ interests on and offshore, cross cultural skills are also very important.

If you are interested to learn more, come along and chat to the team– here’s your opportunity to influence positive change for New Zealand.