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Two fellowships for Maori doctoral researchers

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Two fellowships for Maori doctoral researchers

Two Maori doctoral students have been awarded Te Tipu Putaiao Fellowships worth up to $107,500 each from the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology.

They are Whetu Simon, who is researching successful internet strategies to enhance the economic cultural and social wellbeing of Maori, and Margaret Forster who is studying wetland protection.

The foundation spends about $460 million a year on the Government's behalf to promote and support innovation and new knowledge creation. Sixteen emerging researchers whose work draws on distinct Maori Knowledge have been awarded fellowships for masterate, doctoral and postdoctoral projects.

Mr Simon’s three-year research project will also explore the potential of online digital environments to support Maori e-business and to scope online business opportunities for collectively owned resources.

He is based at the University’s Centre for Indigenous Governance and Development on the Palmerston North campus. His information will be collected and analysed from existing Maori development frameworks such as Maori e-business and online whanau, hapu and iwi organisations, e-marae and e-charitable trusts.

His research acknowledges the potential of Maori resources to contribute to national development and issues of globalisation, technology change, the knowledge wave and Maori cultural and intellectual property rights. He hopes his research will bring direct gains to collectives through the use of digital development strategies and models.

Ms Forster’ will explore Maori engagement in species and wetland ecosystem restoration and management. It is also three-year research project that will be carried out predominantly in her tribal area of Iwitea, Whakaki and Mahia in Hawke's Bay.

Ms Forster, from Te Putahi-a-Toi (the School of Maori Studies), seeks to identify synergies and opportunities with Maori knowledge and science. She says her project will demonstrate how Maori can engage in species and wetland ecosystem restoration and management through the innovative use of Maori knowledge, principles and concepts and Western ecological frameworks.

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