Nel­son stu­dent wins M¯aori schol­ar­ship

The Leader (Tasman) - - OUT & ABOUT - SKARA BOHNY

Cawthron In­sti­tute has been a fea­ture of the Nel­son land­scape for al­most 100 years, and every year pro­vides chances for young stu­dents to get in­volved in their re­search.

This sum­mer a new schol­ar­ship for Ma¯ ori stu­dents was avail­able for the first time, Te Pı¯tau Whakarei Karahipi, in part­ner­ship with Nga¯ Pae o te Ma¯ ra­matanga (NPM, Ma¯ ori Cen­tre of Re­search Ex­cel­lence).

NPM com­mu­ni­ca­tions man­ager Mike Hen­nessey said there was an un­der-rep­re­sen­ta­tion of Ma¯ ori in sci­en­tific ca­reers, and Te Pı¯tau Whakarei Karahipi would give Ma¯ori un­der­grad­u­ates an im­por­tant ex­pe­ri­ence in the sci­en­tific com­mu­nity.

The re­cip­i­ent of the schol­ar­ship, Jaye Bar­clay, Nga¯ ti Apa, is en­ter­ing her third year of study at Vic­to­ria Univer­sity, study­ing three ma­jors and one mi­nor.

‘‘I re­ally, re­ally wanted to get [the schol­ar­ship], it looked re­ally awe­some,’’ she said.

‘‘At first I was sort of hes­i­tant to ap­ply, be­cause I didn’t think I would get it, I was a bit, like, ‘oh are my grades good enough, they’ll be pick­ing peo­ple with straight A+, and then fi­nally my fam­ily and part­ner con­vinced me to just go for it.’’

Bar­clay has spent the past month work­ing on a project for the Sus­tain­able Seas Na­tional Sci­ence Chal­lenge. Her ca­reer goal at the mo­ment was to even­tu­ally do field re­search in ma­rine bi­ol­ogy, pos­si­bly work­ing for DOC.

She had orig­i­nally ap­plied to work on a dif­fer­ent project at Cawthron, but ended up work­ing on a project fo­cussing on so­cial sci­ence - ap­ply­ing the idea of so­cial li­cence to the New Zealand and Tir­iti o Wai­tangi con­text. She said at first she was hes­i­tant, but ended up lov­ing the project.

The work in­cluded in­ter­view­ing peo­ple about their opin­ions on im­pacts of ma­rine and aqua­cul­ture on var­i­ous things, in­clud­ing cul­tural im­pacts.

She said hav­ing a Ma¯ ori per­spec­tive helped her a lot.

‘‘Also, be­ing Ma¯ori, it’s val­i­dat­ing, be­cause you don’t see a huge amount of pub­lic work like this be­ing done.’’

She said in most of her classes, there were very few Ma¯ ori peo­ple in class.

‘‘In all of my sci­ence pa­pers, there’s not many Ma¯ ori. There’s a lot of Pakeha, and a few other peo­ples. It’s pretty sim­i­lar in all lev­els of academia,’’ she said.

‘‘You don’t re­ally see many Ma¯ ori peo­ple in English Lit.’’

Bar­clay said the Ma¯ ori em­pha­sis for this schol­ar­ship was ‘‘re­ally awe­some’’.

‘‘I was al­ready keen to get back in touch with my Iwi be­fore I came here, but since I did I’ve be­come more ex­cited to ... I’m re­ally keen to get in­volved with things they’ve got go­ing on, look­ing at con­ser­va­tion and restora­tion of their fore­shore and seabed,’’ she said.

She hoped her ex­pe­ri­ences could help her en­cour­age and in­spire oth­ers to get in­volved in sci­ence and ‘‘get out and do awe­some things’’.


Jaye Bar­clay, of Nga¯ ti Apa, was the in­au­gu­ral re­cip­i­ent of the new schol­ar­ship, Te P¯ıtau Whakarei Karahipi, at the Cawthron In­sti­tute.

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