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University congratulates young Māori science leaders


Tuesday 19 March 2013 3:25pm

Dr Richard BlaikieProfessor Richard Blaikie, Deputy Vice Chancellor Research and Enterprise, endorses the internship concept.

The Chief Executive of the Federation of Māori authorities has congratulated three young Māori science leaders on successfully completing the inaugural Te Hikohiko Te Uira – Māori Enterprise Internship Programme. 

The summer programme was completed last month and was aimed at growing young Māori leaders who will help support Māori business growth and New Zealand’s economy. 

The team of three interns – science students from the University of Otago – spent more than ten weeks working within the NZ science system, across government agencies and with Māori businesses.

“I join in congratulating them on what was a successful programme,” said CEO of the Federation of Māori Authorities TeHoripo Karaitiana.

The pilot programme was a joint initiative supported by the Federation of Māori Authorities, Callaghan Innovation and the University of Otago.

“This was an enormous success,” says Federation of Māori Authorities Chairman, Traci Houpapa. 

“The three young Māori science interns were a great hit. They met with a range of business and political leaders and were an example of the type of leadership and talent the Māori economy and New Zealand will need in the future.

“With a growing Māori economy, we need Māori science generalists who can be the connectors and facilitators to continue to lift the productivity, performance and leverage value from the Māori asset base,” she says.

The internship included meeting with a number of government agencies involved in Māori development, and exposed the intern team to how the science system works. It also provided the chance to meet with political and iwi leaders, and this included being part of the Waitangi Day celebration at Waitangi this year.

Professor Richard Blaikie, Deputy Vice Chancellor Research and Enterprise, endorses the internship concept.

“The University of Otago wants students to engage in our communities. We saw the internship programme as a hands-on way for students to connect class learning to the issues faced by Māori businesses. Then they will be better equipped to meet those challenges using their science and business knowledge.”

Chairman of the Federation of Māori Authorities Traci Houpapa says: “In the Māori world we often say our most important asset is our people. I am pleased to say this programme was a practical example of demonstrating our on-going investment in our rangatahi (young talent).”

The three student interns recently presented their learnings and findings from the programme to stakeholders and officials in Wellington and to student and faculty staff at the University of Otago and said that this was a once-in-a-life- time experience. They had learnt a great deal.

Mr Karaitiana adds: “We are working closely with our strategic partners, Callaghan Innovation and the University of Otago, to see how this programme can continue, what we can do to extend the opportunity to others and how the Federation can play its part in developing the right talent to support our members and Māori businesses.  New Zealand will not be a successful nation without the Māori economy having the right tools and talent to unleash that potential.”

The inaugural Te Hikohiko Te Uira – Māori Enterprise Internship Programme participants for 2012/2013 were Lisa Pohatu (Ngāti Kahungunu ki Heretaunga me ki Te Wairoa, Kai Tahu, Ngāi Tamanuhiri) BSc, DPH and MPH, Malea Zygadlo (Ngāti Porou) BSc, Marama Kainamu Wheeler (Ngāpuhi) BSc, PGDip, MSciComm

For more information, contact:

Mr TeHoripo Karaitiana
CEO, Federation of Māori Authorities
Mob 021 585 851

Professor Richard Blaikie
Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Enterprise
University of Otago
Tel 0 479 8513

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