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Master's student Jonah Belk, who won the Otago heat, received $500 from the university's Graduate Research School for his efforts in the final.
His topic was the "passive dynamics of spider locomotion" - discussing his work on a robotic spider.
AUT student Livvy Mitchell won the overall Master's section of the competition and received a $1000 research award from the Graduate Research School. Her topic, "Home Detention: Couch surfing or job preserving", discussed sentencing options in the judicial system.
The other competitors in the final were from AUT, the University of Otago, the University of Canterbury, Massey University, the University of Auckland,Victoria University of Wellington, Lincoln University and the University of Waikato.
Doctoral category finalists from around New Zealand will take part in the Asia-Pacific 3MT Competition, in Brisbane in October.