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Our Land and Water is a primary sponsor of the Pūhoro STEM Academy, a mentoring and support programme for Māori high school students.

What We Are Doing

Our Land and Water is a primary sponsor of the Pūhoro STEM Academy, a mentoring and support programme for Māori high school students to support pathways to science, technology, engineering or mathematics careers. There were 800 Pūhoro students in the 2019 academic year, affiliated to 85 iwi, across 27 high schools and 7 universities.

The Pūhoro STEM Academy is hosted by Massey University. It starts at Year 11 and provides sustained support for Māori pupils, through their NCEA levels onto university and ultimately into the workforce.

The students get an hour of mentoring a week and attend a full-day wānanga (seminar) each term, gaining access to university laboratories and teaching. The programme’s curriculum results have exceeded the national averages at the NCEA level.

Students that have completed high school in the programme have been accepted to many New Zealand universities. Tertiary students in the programme tutor the high school students.

In 2019, ESR commissioned an analysis of the Pūhoro programme. This report focused on the potential economic value from increased tertiary education at a bachelor’s degree level. Based on the increase in enrolments and accounting for the average pass rates, the net potential economic benefits for one cohort of the Pūhoro programme (at its most conservative level) are $13,380,000.

The Academy welcomes contact from potential partners, sponsors, and organisations wishing to host a summer intership or work experience opportunity.


Naomi Manu, Pūhoro STEM Academy


Pūhoro Updates

Rose Kuru

Aug 15 2022

Congratulations to Scholarship Winner, Rose Kuru

We are pleased to announce Rose Kuru (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Kere) has been awarded the ...
Puhoro students with interning organisations

Jun 28 2022

Pūhoro Student Internships 2022–23: Call for Projects

Pūhoro STEMM Academy university students are again keen to head into the workplace as summer ...
Faecal source tracking and sampling in Mākirikiri Reserve near Dannevirke

Oct 4 2021

How To Identify Sources of Faecal Contamination

Regional and city council staff now have a documented process to follow when faecal contamination ...
Pō Whakanui Rangatahi 2021

May 26 2021

Pūhoro STEM Academy Summer Intern Hosting Opportunity (2021–22)

Over the summer of 2020–2021, Pūhoro STEM Academy supported 47 work experience and STEM internships ...
Puhoro STEM Academy students

May 25 2020

Summer Intern Hosting Opportunity, with the Pūhoro STEM Academy

Over the summer of 2019–2020, Pūhoro STEM Academy supported 14 work experience and STEM internships ...
Puhoro students with interning organisations

Dec 10 2019

Pūhoro Student Internships: Growing Capability for Future Land and Water Scientists

Pūhoro STEM Academy university students are heading into the workplace as summer interns, with sponsorship ...
Testing for E.coli

Dec 5 2019

Pūhoro Student Internships: In Their Own Words

Two Pūhoro STEM Academy students, Ella Cameron-Smith (Ngāti Raukawa, Ngai Te Rangi) and Meschka Seifritz ...
Kura students in the Hopkins Lab

Jun 13 2019

School Holiday Sampling: A Case Study of Community Engagement in Research

The Faecal Source Tracking project used DNA sequencing to identify 23 strains of ‘naturalised’ Escherichia ...

Participant Spotlight

Heeni Blakely

Heeni Blakey

Auckland Grammar Girls School

“There aren't many Māori kids in science and there are less girls, and I think this has opened a pathway for me to get into science.”

Meschka Seifritz

Meschka Seifritz

Ngāti Kauwhata
Feilding High School

Meschka graduated high school in 2018, winning Pūhoro's major prize, full undergraduate tuition plus a $6000 grant to attend Massey University. "Rangatahi make up 25 percent of our population, but 100 percent of our future. If we teach every age group to respect their land, to give back to Mother Nature, if they taught us these things they would become instilled in our culture.”

Luke August

Luke August

Ngāti Hauiti, Muaupoko, Te Āti Haunui-a-Pāpārangi
Palmerston North Boys’ High School

Luke wanted to explore further his passion for engineering. He found great value in meeting regularly with engineering academics and learning more concepts of engineering through the project-based learning opportunities that Pūhoro gave him.

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