Science summer for rangatahi

11 June 2015

Plant & Food Research, in collaboration with Māori organisation Wakatū Incorporation, has received funding from the New Zealand government to engage Māori rangatahi (young Māori) with science.

Through the new Unlocking Curious Minds funding, Plant & Food Research and Wakatū will deliver a three day wānanga over the summer holidays for year 9 and 10 rangatahi. It is anticipated that the wānanga, Noho taiao ki Wakatū, will improve understanding of the contribution and value of science to New Zealand, particularly the benefits to the primary sector, and encourage the students to consider a future career in a science-related field.

The wānanga will be held at a marae in the Motueka area, where Wakatū is based, and will involve hands-on science activities and presentations from scientists from Plant & Food Research and other science-based organisations.

“There is huge potential for Māori to grow wealth and benefits to communities from the land and the sea,” says Dr Bruce Campbell, COO of Plant & Food Research. “Supporting young Māori and encouraging them to get involved in science will allow these assets to deliver benefits into the future, using both traditional Māori knowledge and new scientific techniques to their full advantage. We are very pleased to be able to work with Wakatū in supporting their own goals around developing rangatahi in science.”

“We are very pleased to partner with Plant & Food Research on this initiative, assisting us to grow young people who are culturally able, well connected to our Wakatū whanau, as well as investing in the development of our scientific capability” says Ropata Taylor, General Manager People and Culture of Wakatū.

Unlocking Curious Minds, funded through the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment, is designed to enhance or broaden the connection and engagement of "harder to reach" New Zealanders, particularly young people, with science and technology. Twenty eight projects were funded in 2015, totalling $1 million.

Emma Timewell
Communications Manager, Corporate Communications,
Plant & Food Research Mt Albert,
120 Mt Albert Road, Sandringham
Auckland, 1025, New Zealand
Telephone: +64-9-925 8692
Mobile: +64-21-2429 365

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