Three young Maori science leaders from the University of
Otago have successfully completed a Maori Enterprise
Internship pilot programme in Wellington.
They are science student Malea Zygadlo, master of public
health student Lisa Pohatu, and Marama Kainamu Wheeler, who
is studying for a master of science communication degree.
Organisers said the summer internships aimed to increase
Maori involvement in the country's science industry.
The Te Hikohiko Te Uira Maori Enterprise Internship Programme
was a collaborative venture between Otago University and
crown Entity Callaghan Innovation, as well as the Federation
of Maori Authorities.
Federation chairwoman Traci Houpapa said the internship
programme had been ''an enormous success'', and had run for
more than 10 weeks.
Interns had met a range of business and political leaders,
and the young science leaders exemplified ''the type of
leadership and talent the Maori economy and New Zealand would
need in the future''.
Prof Richard Blaikie, Otago deputy vice-chancellor research
and enterprise, said the university saw the internship
programme as a hands-on way for students to ''connect class
learning to the issues faced by Maori businesses''.
They would be ''better equipped to meet those challenges
using their science and business knowledge''.
The programme ended last month and the three interns recently
presented their findings in Wellington and to students and
faculty staff at Otago University.