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Lincoln University crucial to meeting Māori aspirations

24 November 2015
- for immediate release

Lincoln University crucial to meeting Māori aspirations

Newly appointed Deputy Vice-Chancellor (DVC) Māori and Communities, Dr Charlotte Severne, says Lincoln has a crucial role in meeting Māori development aspirations.

“We are at a critical time for growing Māori capability within tertiary and graduate programmes aligned with primary sector needs and physical and biological sciences.

“Māori strength is in the number of youth we have as a percentage of our population with 33.8 per cent under 15-years-old.

“Currently this group is not performing well in the mainstream and very few are filling roles on Māori owned farms or forestry companies,” Dr Severne says.

A former Chief Scientist of Ocean Research and of Māori Development at NIWA, as well as a General Manager there, for the past two years she has been running her own business providing science strategy advice to businesses in New Zealand.

Of Ngāti Tuwharetoa and Ngāi Tūhoe descent, she has a PhD in Geology from the University of Auckland and has extensive experience in the research sector. Dr Severne has also been a Senior Analyst for the Environment Ministry, and is a member of the MBIE Science Board.

Her role at Lincoln involves overall responsibility for advancing the Māori development interests of the University, and optimising outputs for Māori achievement and success.

She will also seek opportunities to further grow and develop Lincoln, through partnering with Iwi and Māori on commercial and research opportunities.

She sees one of her priorities as being to operationalise the Whenua Strategy, the University’s overall Māori strategy informing Lincoln’s internal and external strategies for education, research and relationships with Māori communities.

“The document provides a good roadmap for a way forward,” she says.

“I see the DVC role as an ideal fit for my skills, after working primarily as a science manager and commercial science advisor and with roles as a Governor of Ahuwhenua Trusts such as Chair of Lake Rotoaira Forest Trust and Deputy Chair of Opepe Farm Trust.”

Lincoln University Interim Vice-Chancellor Dr John Hay praises Dr Severne’s appointment and says she will be a valuable asset for Lincoln and Maori, especially with her extensive research and business background. The University worked very closely with Te Taumutu Runanga in the appointment of Dr Severne.

Dr Severne has also authored a number of reports dealing with the impact on iwi and cultural values of environmental projects, as well as looking at Māori research strategies.

She will start with the University in February 2016, however she will be formally welcomed to the University at a mihi whakatau on Monday 30 November.


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