Project Nikau is a programme designed to support young people into employment while also helping develop careers within Sky City. Project Nikau name gets its name from the nikau palm, which is native to Aotearoa. The nikau palm has always been a source of many things, such as food, shelter, and medicine. If the shoot or "rito" of the nikau is damaged or jeopardised, the entire palm is at risk of perishing. You, as our rangatahi, represent this rito, so we provide guidance and wrap-around support to ensure you are well prepared for employment here at Sky City. An important part of this is providing mentoring and pastoral care for the first 2 years of employment. Mentoring will awhi and support you during your time at SkyCity.

What is Project Nikau Mentoring?

As a rangatahi coming through our programme our mentoring is to journey alongside you. There is a great emphasis on tikanga Māori and elements of the Pasifika culture in our approach. Mentoring sessions take place during your work time - ideally within the first or last hour of your shift - and is organised by our mentors and agreed upon with the manager of each department. Through a Māori and Pasifika lens we focus on supporting your wellbeing as a whole. Through these regular mentoring sessions, we draw on wellbeing modules like 'Te Whare Tapa Wha' to work towards overcoming obstacles, and improving mindset, confidence, and capability to create better future opportunities for you and your whānau.

Project Nikau Employment Pathways into SkyCity

We offer two pathways into employment here at SkyCity: Academy or Assisted recruitment.


  • 3-week paid training
  • Māori & Pasifika youth aged 18-24
  • Interested in hospitality
  • Opportunity to progress through to a permanent role after completing the training
  • Foundational level roles with future opportunities for progression

The Academy will include sessions to help to build your capability and confidence in becoming SkyCity work ready.

During the three weeks of Academy, you will experience:

  • compulsory staff induction processes
  • team building, communication and problem-solving activities
  • site tour
  • introductions to respected and valued SkyCity staff
  • financial literacy sessions
  • health and wellbeing sessions
  • foundational customer service workshops & work specific workshops.
  • youth mentoring
  • work experience days
  • graduation

Project Nikau criteria

Those suitable for Academy:

  • Māori & Pasifika
  • 18-24 years
  • Interested in hospitality
  • Great attitude, willing to learn and reliable


The Assisted pathway is broader and available to those of you who are a bit further along in your employment journey. You will not need the three-week training as you will have had more work experience. The Assisted pathway will support you with interview preparation and guide you throughout the recruitment process. If you wish to enter through the Assisted recruitment route you may do so at any time during the year.

Check out our SkyCity careers page for job vacancies you may be interested in.

Those suitable for Assisted:

  • Open recruitment: any age, ethnicity and role options depending on suitability
  • Some work experience and relevant transferrable skills
  • Confident in going straight into full-time SkyCity employment
  • Great attitude, willing to learn and reliable

Register your interest

We are now inviting applications for our Assisted pathway. Please refer to our Assisted Recruitment criteria above.

We are currently reviewing dates for our next Academy intake for the start of 2024. We will update here when date has been confirmed.

Recruitment for our academy begins about 5-6 weeks prior to the start date.

To register your interest in Project Nikau please email: and leave a contact number. Once we have received your expression of interest, we will contact you on the number provided or email you to organise a suitable time to talk.

Alternatively, if you are an organisation wanting to connect or refer rangatahi through, please use the same email above.

Share this with your friends and whānau who you think may be interested.