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Auf wiedersehen . Waitaki District Council intern Tobi Pfahl has finished his contract and is returning home to Germany. PHOTO: GUS PATTERSON

And then there were none.

The Waitaki District Council’s last remaining intern, Tobi Pfahl, has finished his contract and is returning to his hometown of Suttgart, Germany.

The council’s internship programme is now on hold until there is more certainty about international travel.

Mr Pfahl arrived in Oamaru in February, so most of his internship and New Zealand experience was disrupted by Covid-19. However, during Alert Level 1 he managed get out and travel around various parts of the country.

“It was a good place to be,” Mr Pfahl said.

“I specifically like Mt Sunday and the Southern Alps . . . the landscapes and nature – it is amazing.”

Mr Pfahl, who is studying business law in Germany, spent his internship working on procurement legislation for the council.

He “very much enjoyed” his experience.

“It was a crazy time .. I imagine it to be a lot different [without Covid-19],” he said.

The working environment in New Zealand was more relaxed compared with Germany, and the people were more easygoing, he said.

When he returned to Germany, he planned to finish his bachelor’s degree, but after that, he had no solid plans.

“Who knows in these times? I would never have thought I would be worried about whether I could get back home,” he said.

The Waitaki District Council had hosted 23 interns since it began the programme in 2018, finance and corporate development group manager Paul Hope said.

“We believe it is a real opportunity to give students the opportunity to explore the world, live in and contribute to a community and allow council to undertake some projects earlier or in more detail than originally planned,” Mr Hope said.

“[Interns] had a significant impact in the communications area and allowed real progress to be made in the development of the geopark proposal.

“They have also added to the local community by participating in and supporting a number of community events.”