Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search

 


Funding to study native sand dune maker

Two Lincoln University researchers have secured Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE) funding as part of a collaborative research project to study what was once one of the most ubiquitous plants in New Zealand.

Senior Lecturer in Ecology, Dr Hannah Buckley, and Senior Lecturer in Māori Environmental Planning and Development, Dr Simon Lambert, are working with researchers from Victoria University, along with Māori organisations Te Taumutu Rūnanga and Ngāti Hinewaka, to study pīngao.

Pīngao is a sand-binding sedge that is found only in New Zealand and used to flourish on virtually every sandy beach in the country (including the Chatham Islands). However, threats such as the introduced grass species marram, burning by early settlers, the reduction of natural sand dunes, and the grazing habits of farm animals and rabbits has drastically reduced its numbers to the point where only a few remnant populations remain.

Historically, pīngao was a major component of sand dune vegetation across New Zealand and was used extensively by Māori for weaving bags (kete), hats (pōtae) and mats (whāriki), as well as a range of decorative items.

The plant, which is of great cultural and ecological significance to New Zealand, exhibits pronounced biological variation and is identified as a key indicator of biodiversity through its capacity to create an environment which allows for the establishment of other native species.

The MBIE funding is part of Te Pūnaha Hihiko Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund 2013, which aims to advance individuals and organisations undertaking research which supports unlocking the science and innovation potential of Māori in the environmental, economic, social, and cultural spheres.

The $75,000 of funding given to this project is initially designed to establish knowledge-sharing via workshops of interest groups involved with the iconic pīngao; such as biologists, ecologists, geneticists, conservationists, social scientists, and traditional weavers.

From there, it is envisaged that joint research interests and methodologies will be established, with the ultimate objective of launching into more robust primary research. It’s hoped that one outcome from the research network will be innovative ideas for plant conservation, ecology, sustainability and resource management in general.

As part of the MBIE funding, the project also aims to act as a mentoring platform for Māori students engaged in postgraduate studies.

Dr Hannah Buckley sees a wide range of benefits flowing from this grant: “The project is valuable as a way to connect with a range of people and perspectives to form new ideas and develop a platform for further research. This includes an opportunity for upskilling through learning from these other viewpoints and research methods.

“A big plus for me is the mentoring opportunity. I think this is important because we can do science better when we consider a variety of ways of thinking about and approaching the discipline,” she says.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

August 4: Centenary Of New Zealand Entering The First World War

PM John Key: I move, that this House recognise that on the 4th of August 2014, we will mark the centenary of New Zealand entering the First World War... More>>

ALSO:

Cyclists Net First NZ Gold

New Zealand won a gold meal and two bronzes on the first day of the Commonwealth Games. There was joy and heartbreak in an incredibly full day of sport. Here's how the New Zealanders fared. More>>

Cap Bocage: Anti-Mining Campaign Doco Debuts At NZ Film Festival

Playing at this year’s New Zealand International Film Festival, Cap Bocage is a close-up exploration of the forces that came into play when environmental issues and indigenous rights became intertwined in New Caledonia ... More>>

Film Fest:

More Film:

Sharon Ellis Review: A View From The Bridge

Arthur Miller’s A View From the Bridge is Circa’s latest big production, it opened on Saturday 19 July and it is a stunning triumph. More>>

Māori Language Week: He Karanga Kia Kaha Ake Te Tīhau Ki Te Reo Māori

The Māori Language Commission wishes to see social media swamped with Māori language tweets and messages for Te Wiki o te Reo Māori using the hashtag #tekupu. More>>

ALSO:

Book Vote: Kiwis Prefer Young Adult & Classics

To compile their Top 100 List for 2014, Whitcoulls again asked New Zealanders to vote for their favourite books and authors. And while classic novels continue to appeal to Kiwi readers, 2014 marks a significant new trend – the increasing popularity of novels for young adults. More>>

ALSO:

Five NZ Cities: Bill Bailey Back To The Southern Hemisphere

The gap between how we imagine our lives to be and how they really are is the subject of Bill’s new show Limboland. With his trademark intelligence and sharp wit, he tells tales of finding himself in this halfway place. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Book Television Is Coming

Carole Beu of The Women’s Bookshop in Auckland, Graham Beattie of The Book Blog and producer Deb Faith of FaceTV have raised enough money via crowd funding at Boosted – just under $7,000 so far – for 12 episodes, which begin production in September, and will be on screen later that month. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Education
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news