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Global Fisheries Winners Announced

Global Fisheries Winners Announced

The Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission today announced the two winners for the 2003/04 Global Fisheries Training Programme.

The Global Fisheries Training Programme developed by the Fisheries Commission and Nippon Suisan Kaisha, Ltd (Nissui) is an elite 12-month training programme that allows for two Maori each year to work with Nissui in Japan. Nissui have a 50 percent stake in the Nelson global fishing company, Sealord Group Limited, in which the Commission owns the remaining 50 percent.

The two winners are 29-year-old Jason Ashford, of Te Atihau-nui-a-Paparangi and Ngati Pamoana descent, and 24-year-old Tina Chase, Ngapuhi and Ngati Maniapoto. Jason and Tina must now undertake a two-month orientation programme commencing in New Zealand, which will include tuition in Japanese language and culture.

Fisheries Commission Chief Executive Officer, Robin Hapi, said the interviewing panel was impressed with the calibre of candidates for this year’s scholarship. “The Fisheries Commission has the opportunity to create highly-skilled Maori in the fishing industry through this12-month business training programme within the Nissui global network,” Mr Hapi said. “These scholarship recipients will have to adapt to change and work successfully at the coal face of an international company. But they will learn a range of skills that reap rewards for the New Zealand fishing industry, and Maori fishing in particular.”

Mr Hapi said the opportunities are great but the demands on the recipients of the prestigious scholarship were also heavy. “They will be challenged right from the start. They are going into a foreign speaking country, they not only have to learn a language, they have to adapt to the culture and protocols of how the Nissui business operates.”

“Furthermore, their own skills sets will be tested against a back-drop of adding value to the company. They will also need to contend with every day living, commuting to and from work and creating a new network of friends. The recipients will also have the added pressure of being trail blazers and ambassadors for Maori.”

Mr Hapi said both winners had already gained experience working in the marine environment. Jason has been in the fishing industry for the last six years and helped develop strong Iwi/hapu relationships through his work with Tamatea Management Services Limited in Gisborne, a project management company specialising in fisheries issues. For the last two years, Jason has been employed as a species analyst at Sealord Group in Nelson.

Born and raised in Dunedin, Te Waipounamu, Tina has an interest in all fields of marine science, particularly marine biology, marine ecology and fisheries management. As part of her requirements to complete a Postgraduate Diploma in Marine Science at Otago University, Tina took on a year-long research project to investigate the age and growth dynamics of hapuka (groper). She has also been involved in tutoring Maori students in marine ecology.

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