Every business needs a digital doer.
In 3 months, that could be you.

Get paid. Get skills. Get that job.

Every single business in Aotearoa wants to do business online. And do it well. Problem is, a lot of them don’t have the skills to make it happen.

So if you do have the skills, if you’re a Digital Doer, employers want you.

And we can make you a Digital Doer in just 3 months.

Here’s how

  • We’ll teach you those digital skills with 12 weeks of hands-on online courses. You’ll stay on your current benefit during this training.

  • Then we’ll hook you up with an 8 week paid business internship. Once you go onto this paid internship your benefit will stop.

  • Following the internship the goal is to turn that into a full time digital job or self employment.

After that, Aotearoa’s your oyster.

You’ll have the digital skills that businesses are desperate for, massive job opportunities, a bunch of connections, the skills to help businesses, and even the chance to start your own business as a Digital Doer.

The courses

You’ll learn the digital skills that are the most valuable to businesses:

  • Bringing a brand to life digitally
  • Getting a successful website
  • Creating engaging content
  • Digital marketing
  • Crafting a digital strategy

Who can apply

Know your way around Facebook? Follow a few influencers? Ever shopped online and thought it could be better? If you’ve got access to a computer and the internet, this is your moment. Don’t worry if you can’t access them from home – if your application is successful, our mates at 2degrees will hook you up.

You should already be receiving Ministry of Social Development benefits, although we may accept other job-seekers on a case-by-case basis.

The only other thing we ask, is that you’re keen to learn, ready to work hard, and excited to use this opportunity to help others. 

If that sounds like you, follow the application process below, and you could be one of the first 25 graduates of the Digital Doers Academy.

Ready? This is your moment. You’ve got this.

Apply in 3 steps


Film a video, up to
a minute long,
telling us why you
want to take part.


Complete the application form below.


Upload your video to YouTube or into the application form below before 19 Feb.

Application Closed for this round. Register your interest below for the next round.

    VIDEO UPLOAD (Max 20MB - optional):
    YouTube Video Link (optional):

    * = required fields

    The crew behind the Academy

    The team is led by relentless innovator, Pat MacFie, who lives with a Te Ao Māori world view. With a deep sense of purpose, Pat is known for his tenacious ability to take an idea and create a force for change, over and over again.

    He has built and managed teams, leading the design and implementation of digital innovation for global brands including Xero. 

    Pat works alongside Co-Founders Jada MacFie (Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki, Ngaati Maahanga-Hourua, Ngāti Pāoa, Ngāti Kauwhata), Andy Hamilton: formerly of The Icehouse and a former small business advisor to Minister Stuart Nash, Monty Betham: Samoan Kiwi sporting legend, and Sarah Colcord: Pasifika Entrepreneur. 

    Together they lead a growing team of 35 at innovation agency Indigo – the powerhouse behind lockdown-built platforms Manaaki.io and Chooice

    The Digital Doers Academy will be led by Rachel Adams, who has been part of the leadership team at Soda Inc. for the last ten years.


    You’ll be learning from some of Aotearoa’s best digital doers

    Pat Macfie - Co-Founder Manaaki

    Pat MacFie is the co-founder of local agency Indigo and one of the driving forces behind Manaaki.io, a platform that helps give support to local businesses trying to navigate the world of business by linking them up to experts and New Zealand’s largest Facebook group and online marketplace, Chooice.  

    Pat was the former Global Director of Media for Xero and his work has shaped how Xero impacted small businesses globally. Pat and his team have helped 10’s of thousands of small businesses across the country through Manaaki and Chooice and generating over 7 figures of revenue for local Kiwi businesses. 

    His team have growth to 30+ staff in the space of a year and are scaling locally and internationally.”

    Kale Panoho - Director of K&J Growth

    Kale Panoho is the managing director of K&J Growth and Rugby Bricks, the only New Zealand member of the Forbes Agency Council, and a nominee for the Forbes 30 under 30 class of 2020.

    Kale has created globally recognised marketing campaigns that have been featured in Inc., Forbes, and many other media outlets and his case studies and writing have accumulated over 15 M+ views globally.

    His companies have worked with local businesses like BNZ, Go with Tourism, TikTok and Monster Energy through to local gyms in rural New Zealand.”

    David Kelley - Co-Founder of Zeald

    David Kelly is a co-founder and the chairman of Zeald, New Zealand’s largest and most experienced website design and digital marketing agency for SMEs. For 20 years Zeald has specialised in ecommerce and digital transformation, helping more than 15,000 Kiwi small businesses transform online.

    Pioneers of early ecommerce in New Zealand, Zeald has developed its own enterprise-level, full-featured ecommerce platform Zest, which has processed more than NZ$2billion revenue locally. Last year, Zeald launched its impact initiative GEM (the Get Ecommerce Movement) giving away hundreds of free ecommerce websites to small businesses and digitally upskilling Kiwis, to support greater digital enablement in New Zealand. Zeald continues to blaze trails in new digital technology, in particular integration, automation and messaging infrastructure. 

    A digital visionary and technically astute entrepreneur, David Kelly is an active member of New Zealand’s SME business community and, outside of Zeald, is an investor, director and adviser to a range of companies from well-established businesses to start-ups.

    Taankiko & Vienna Nordstrom - Co-Founders of Soldiers Rd

    Taaniko Nordstrom and Vienna Nordstrom are the co-founders and creative stylist/photographer duo behind Soldiers Rd Portraits, which was a concept first dreamed of in 2011. 

    Based in Wellington, New Zealand, the two stylists dress customers in Maori, Pasifika, Native American and First Nations regalia for a memorable native inspired vintage portrait. 

    With a business that can pack down into two bags, the creative duo have taken their mahi on the road numerous times, not only here in Aotearoa, but also abroad all over Australia and even globally to USA, Europe and India! 

    Taaniko says their formula for success is simple, “Whakawhanaungatanga – we make a connection with every whānau we meet, and realising that through our portraits we have touched their lives for the better, is humbling. It’s also reassuring to know what we’re doing is of value to others.”


    What’s the timeline?

    • Applications open 2 Feb
    • Applications close 19 Feb
    • If you’re shortlisted, you’ll be contacted by 22 Feb to arrange an interview
    • Final participants will be confirmed by 26 Feb
    • 12 week education programme kicks off on 15 March 
    • Programme completed by 4 June 
    • Internship placements to be made from 7 June and are expected to last 8 weeks

    How does the funding work?

    For the 12 week Academy, you will continue to be on your existing benefit payment from MSD. 

    For the 8 week internship, the business you work for will be given a wage subsidy at minimum wage ($18.90/h) for 30 hours per week. 

    Do I have to be based in Auckland?

    No, we will accept applications from across Aotearoa.

    Are the courses online or in person?

    The Academy is virtual. However, Manaaki has an office in Auckland where participants are welcome to come.

    What does the internship involve?

    The Academy will place you (either locally or remotely) with a business (or businesses), to help you put into practise what you’ve learnt. You’ll assess how the business uses digital right now, identify ways they can do better, and then help the business put your plan into action. 

    You’ll have the support of the Manaaki team, as well as your fellow Academy. 

    At the end of the internship, you may have the opportunity to continue work with that business, or to develop your own business as a digital doer.

    What organisations are behind the Academy?

    Manaaki supports small Kiwi business owners through the challenges and opportunities of owning a business. Since it launched in March 2020, over 300,000 Kiwis have interacted with content on the platform, or received answers to their questions from Kiwi business experts.

    Chooice.co.nz is an online platform for Kiwi business owners to sell their products. It grew out of the NZ Made Products Facebook page (now called Chooice), which is now NZ’s biggest FB page with more than 540,000 members. So far, the Chooice website has helped Kiwi businesses make over $1,000,000.