Port Otago Cadetship Programme

Port Otago Group’s business comprises a regional container terminal, bulk port activities, cruise (on hold) and property investment and development. We service South Canterbury, Otago and Southland, working with customers to streamline their supply chains. Our culture is hands-on, safety focused and encourages continuous improvement.

If you are genuinely excited about the opportunity to explore and build a career in the port logistics industry, we would love to hear from you.

Our Cadetship programme is full time, paid, structured, and supported by a mentor. The role is diverse, and you will obtain knowledge and experience across both Port Otago and the wider supply chain. Placements will be within our Supply Chain, Operations, Safety and Commercial teams.


Over the two-year programme, you will:

  • Thrive on variety, as you rotate through different areas of our business
  • Be open to learning, beginning with the Supply Chain process (e.g. working in our warehouses, dealing with the many different inbound and outbound products)
  • Operate machinery. We will start by training you to drive a forklift, but the goal is to also train you to drive the large straddle carriers, in time
  • Option to work within our Operations team as a Lasher, which involves securing and unsecuring containers to the deck of the ship
  • Work within the Depot team, steam cleaning empty containers to high standards of cleanliness, ready for customers to then pack their products into
  • Work within our Safety Team as a Port Protection Officer where you will gain exposure to various Security, Marine, Customer Services and Safety Duties


Men and women encouraged to apply

While the port industry has traditionally attracted men, times are changing. We strongly encouraged women to apply and investigate this opportunity. You may not have operated Heavy Machinery before and that’s ok as long as you are enthusiastic and keen to learn; shortlisted applicants will be taken through a computer-based assessment initially to see if you have got what it takes to operate heavy machinery.


What's great about the job:

  • Guaranteed 40 hours per week paid employment
  • Mentorship throughout the two-year programme
  • Working alongside and learning from a fantastic team of people
  • You will gain your forklift licence and, in time, be trained to drive larger machinery
  • An exceptional view from your workplace


What's not so great:

  • Flexibility is a must as throughout the programme. You will work different days and hours, due to various shift rosters across different departments
  • Frequent weekend work and public holiday work is required. Port Otago is an essential service, so the team doesn’t stop
  • Due to the nature of shipping schedules and weather, your shifts will be allocated on a weekly and daily basis depending on your rotation
  • Your days off may be staggered during the week


Heads up, you will need:

  • A full clean NZ driver’s license
  • The physical ability to undertake some heavy labouring work at times
  • A high standard of safety, including being comfortable to speak up
  • To pass Ministry of Justice, ACC checks and a medical, which includes a drug and alcohol test
  • To expect random drug and alcohol testing


If you are interested in hearing more about our Cadetship Programme and expressing interest, please reach out to our People Team via people@portotago.co.nz.