Kia ora koutou

Amidst the noise and haste of supporting the COVID response and delivering our infectious disease and AMR project (more on this in the New Year), we have had a busy and exciting year behind the scenes with our interns and fellows – 13 projects across the year. We’re thankful for their continuing mahi and contributions to the OPMCSA. You can read all more about all their projects on our fellow and interns page but here are a few teasers.

Sunrise on Waikanae Beach, Tairāwhiti Gisborne, New Zealand.

Sunrise on Waikanae Beach, Tairāwhiti Gisborne, New Zealand. Image credit: © Ray Sheldrake, CC BY 4.0.

Interns in partnership with Tairāwhiti

Recently, we have been particularly pleased to welcome our newest interns Ngahuia Mita and Tanith Wirihana Te Waitohioterangi. These internships are being undertaken in partnership with Tairāwhiti iwi and are future-focused projects centred in Tairāwhiti, to support the ‘shared future’ kaupapa of the 2019 commemorations of the beginnings of the nation now known as Aotearoa New Zealand. COVID delayed the appointment process but we are thrilled to have got them off the ground, albeit remotely, in 2021.

The focus of Ngahuia’s internship is to examine, understand and highlight a Te Ao Māori perspective on the climate emergency, specifically from the perspective of Te Tairāwhiti. In order to achieve this Ngahuia will examine a number of significant sites, connected to tūpuna waka (ancestral canoes), in the Tairāwhiti rohe (region) to determine what the impact of climate change is in these places.

Tanith’s dynamic project broadly aims to support cultural revitalisation and help Rongowhakaata iwi, whānau and hapū to reconnect and engage with tāonga tuku iho, offer policy recommendations which lead to the protection of unique iwi mātauranga, and to build foundations for creating a taonga database which will allow Rongowhakaata to interact with its digitised taonga in a COVID-19 pandemic environment.

A spotlight on some of our fellows

Among our fellows in 2021 are Dr Cate Roy and Dr Anne-Gaelle Ausseil. Cate is a senior policy analyst in the Office of Research Strategy and Integrity at the University of Auckland. Working with the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and Universities New Zealand, Cate explored the research-policy interface. Her project aimed to expand knowledge on potential approaches to strengthening the two-way flow of knowledge between academia and policy makers. Her report will be on our website in the New Year.

Anne-Gaelle is working with Alison Collins (Chief Science Advisor for the Ministry for the Environment), her project explored the different frameworks used for understanding the environment and its relationship to well-being. She is continuing this work in her new role as a principal scientist at the Ministry for the Environment. You can read the report ‘Environmental stewardship and well-being’ on the Manaaki Whenua website and read a summary ‘Codifying the relationship between nature and people’.

Our latest published intern research

Jacques de Satgé completed his internship with the OPMCSA earlier this year and produced a synthesis of the types and extent of legal mangrove removal in Aotearoa New Zealand, the socio-ecological drivers of this removal, and how removal practices may affect native birds. You can download the report ‘Mangrove management in Aotearoa New Zealand: A bird’s eye review’, watch a presentation by Jacques about mangroves and the banded rail, and see more about the research as profiled by RNZ.

If you are keen to join us in 2022 – get in touch!

Juliet's signature