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Wednesday 10 May 2023 12:05pm

The inaugural symposium of the Centre of Research Excellence (CoRE) Coastal People: Southern Skies (CP:SS) is taking place in Dunedin this week.

Hosted by the University of Otago, the one-day symposium to be held at Tūhura, Otago on Thursday 11 May, will welcome a large number of researchers, students, and community partners who are contributing towards the CoRE's vision of mauri ora (flourishing wellness) of coastal communities.

Co-Director of CP:SS Professor Anne-Marie Jackson (Ngāti Whātua, Ngāti Kahu o Whangaroa, Ngāpuhi, Ngātiwai) says the symposium is the first opportunity to share widely the CoRE's mahi since its inception almost two years ago.

“The inaugural symposium comes together under the kaupapa of Preparing the Gardens, which draws upon notions of oceanic voyaging and the need to ensure the purpose, the crew, and the waka are equipped for the voyage ahead,” Professor Jackson says.

The use of Te Pae Māhutonga as one of the key markers for CP:SS reflects its role in connecting the coastal people of the South Pacific who together are facing a shared future in the face of uncertainty and environmental change.

Professor Jackson, alongside CP:SS Co-Directors Professor Chris Hepburn, and Professor Rosalina (Rose) Richards, will chair the three symposium sessions which will cover Capability and Capacity Building, the Research Programme Platform, and Community Anchor Sites.

CP:SS has a strong focus on growing the capability and capacity of students, researchers and communities. In addition to celebrating its postgraduate and postdoctoral members, the symposium will also explore innovative school outreach programmes including the development of an ocean curriculum.

Attending the symposium will also be representatives from the five community anchor sites that are working with CP:SS, including Rakiura, Waikawa, Puketeraki, Whareponga, Kawhia and Ngāti Whātua, will share insights of their local projects at the symposium.

Professor Hepburn says these five communities are integral to the work of CP:SS and play a significant role in the development of its researchers and students.

“We are looking forward to bringing these communities together and hearing about the mahi each is involved with,” Professor Hepburn says. “Each will explore what capability building and research excellence looks like for them in their unique context, and how they envision the research sector contributing to the mauri ora of their coastal communities.”

The mission of CP:SS is to connect, understand and restore coastal ecosystems through transformative research and local action, with mauri ora of coastal communities guiding its overall vision.

The CoRE's research programme is structured around the metaphor of a voyaging canoe, and researchers will share their reflections of Preparing the Gardens based on their thematic groupings of monitoring, connecting, understanding and restoring.


The symposium will be livestreamed from 9am on Thursday 11 May 2023 at the link below:

Coastal People: Southern Skies 2023 symposium livestream

For more information, contact:

Professor Anne-Marie Jackson
Co-Director Coastal People: Southern Skies
Kaihautū Centre of Indigenous Science, University of Otago

Professor Rosalina Richards
Co-Director Coastal People: Southern Skies
Deputy Director Va'a o Tautai – Centre for Pacific Health, University of Otago

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