Pathways to Transition

Pūhoro Student Internships 2022–23: Call for Projects

Our Land and Water is proud to sponsor the summer internship programme for Pūhoro STEM Academy university students. We encourage all our partners and industry stakeholders to register your interest to host opportunities for Pūhoro scholars, and help grow capability for future land and water scientists

Puhoro students with interning organisations

Pūhoro STEMM Academy university students are again keen to head into the workplace as summer interns later this year, with sponsorship from the Our Land and Water National Science Challenge.

Our Land and Water encourages our partners and industry stakeholders to consider whether there may be internship opportunities within your organisation or land and water research.

Students are looking for a range of opportunities in the following areas:

Food innovation | Environmental sciences | Agri-science | Land management | Mātauranga Māori | Agritech | Economics | Environmental psychology | Science communication | Social science

Pūhoro is a complete STEMM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics, mātauranga) pipeline for young Māori that supports engagement from secondary school through tertiary education and into employment. Pūhoro seeks to increase and improve Māori STEM engagement that will lead to improved diversity and mātauranga Māori expertise across the STEM landscape.

Programmes like Pūhoro are critically important. We face more complex challenges than ever before, and the solutions are more than likely to require STEM expertise. Almost all future jobs will require some STEM knowledge. Māori are estimated to be 30% of the workforce by 2030, but currently represent less than 2% of the scientific workforce. It is more important than ever to ensure Māori have opportunities to develop STEM skills.

Pūhoro STEM Academy director Naomi Manu says the internship programme strengthens the long-term skills pipeline from secondary schools into tertiary education, then the workforce. “This programme enables students to discover their passions and to work in new and exciting STEM environments while being mentored by people who are committed to building Māori capability in STEM.”

Intern hosts are expected to host a minimum of two scholars, and ensure supervisor attendance at events (Supervisor Wānanga and Pō Whakanui). Host organisations will also need a regime for the protection of mātauranga Māori within the research project and, if applicable, support IP provisions for Pūhoro scholars.

The scholar stipend is $7000 per scholar from the host organisation, and Our Land and Water will contribute a further $3000 per scholar.

Interns sponsored by Our Land and Water in 2022

Last summer Our Land and Water sponsored 12 Pūhoro university students to summer as interns with organisations including Wai Wānaka, AgResearch, Lincoln Agritech and Plant & Food Research.

Alice Boyd (Ngāti Porou) is completing her Bachelor of Science (Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics) at Massey University. Last summer she interned with Plant & Food Research, working on the rapid evaluation of pollen fertility within a Limonium breeding programme.

“Prior to my internship at Plant & Food Research, I had absolutely no knowledge in the fields of plant biology and plant breeding,” says Alice. “I fell in love with plants and from here picked up (and actually did surprisingly well) in some plant-based University papers. I have enjoyed going to work every day so very much, I can’t help but smile when I walk through the doors every morning.”

Aaliyah Pakau-Timoti (Ngāti Tūwharetoa) is doing a Bachelor of Animal Science (Breeding and Genetics) degree at Massey University. Last summer with Wai Wānaka she contributed to the development of a monitoring programme to understand the current populations of the endemic long-finned tuna (eel) Anguilla dieffienbachii in Lake Wānaka and Lake Hawea.

“I gained helpful skills, operating computer software that allowed me to graph, map and coordinate data on tuna,” says Aaliyah. “I enjoyed learning about the concept of eDNA and how to sample using eDNA. I now feel confident enough to run a project on my own and lead a project with a team.”

Isabella Rewiri Wharerau (Ngāpuhi) is undertaking a joint degree: a Bachelor of Health (Māori Health) and a Bachelor of Commerce (Finance). Hosted by AgResearch, Isabella undertook sample testing at the source of the Manawatū River through a shared kaupapa approach.

“Having the opportunity to build connections with local hapū, and being able to apply learnings from my degree to this mahi is something I really enjoyed,” says Isabella. “It will definitely affect my future career considerations moving forward.”


Annabel McAleer

Communications Manager, Our Land and Water. Text in this article is licensed for re-use under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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