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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. The programme currently has 630 students from 24 schools.

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

The programme’s curriculum results have exceeded the national averages at the NCEA level. In its first year, Pūhoro STEM Academy students at NCEA level 1 achieved better than Māori and non-Māori in physics, chemistry and biology.

There are 46 schools on the waiting list to participate in the Pūhoro STEM Academy. The Academy welcomes contact from potential partners and sponsors.


Naomi Manu, Massey University


Pūhoro Updates

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. "I think my mission is to make that connection between western science and mātauranga Māori” (traditional knowledge).

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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