Education Success

During the current three-month period of our education funding programme (1 June – 31 August), we received a wonderful update from one of our previous recipients on how they have progressed in their education journey so far. Our latest blog is to share NRAIT owner Hanareia Ehau-Taumaunu’s kōrero on what she’s been up to.

In 2015, Hanareia received the NRAIT Post Graduate Scholarship after graduating her Bachelor of Science in biological science, and a Bachelor of Arts in Māori studies and writing. After completing her Bachelor’s degrees, she began studying a Master of Science at The University of Auckland.

Hanareia has just recently received her final grade for her Masters, from these results she will be awarded a Masters in Biological Sciences with First Class Honours. Not only did she achieve this with a top grade, Hanareia was also recently awarded the Fulbright Science and Innovation Graduate Award for 2017 at a ceremony at Parliament.


Hanareia and her whānau at Parliament in June to receive her Fulbright Award.

During her studies, she took a variety of papers based in plant biology, biotechnology, plant pathology and protein interactions. In her research, Hanareia spent time working alongside the Next generation bio pesticides programme, which is aiming to develop environmentally safe alternatives to pesticides currently used to control insect pests and diseases that limit productivity in the pastoral and horticultural sectors.

As Hanareia puts it, this area of study is beneficial to Māori, especially for Ngāti Rārua Ātiawa ki Motueka hapū, as our whenua is fertile land for growing kai, and diseases and insect pests can have a devastating impact.

“Take all the opportunities that come to you and do not be afraid to seek them out yourselves. Putting myself out there and connecting to people is the best thing I have done to further my career and networks in science. Always give back to those that have helped you on your journey and inspire those that will be ngā rangatira o āpōpō. Connecting science and Māoritanga can give you a uniqueness that is desired in Aotearoa and is needed to assist Māori iwi, hapū and whānau to grow and support their goals and aspirations.

I would like to once again thank NRAIT and whānau for the support I received, as it without a doubt allowed me to pursue my goals and the fantastic outcome for my MSc.

Hanareia hopes that one day Māori scientists will be leading the charge on many fronts to ensure Māori are being heard and represented. Protecting our taonga species and crops are important in a world that is constantly changing and new threats are forming.

You can read more about Hanareia’s journey here.

This isn’t the final step in Hanareia’s education. Next month she will be travelling over to America to pursue her PhD in Plant Pathology at Penn State University.

Whakamihi Hanareia, NRAIT and your whānau are extremely whakahī (proud), and we’re grateful to you for sharing this kōrero.

We are proud to continue our support for our hapū’s education pathways. Through our education funding programme NRAIT owners can apply to receive grants for anything from trades training through to post graduate degrees like Hanaeria. To apply for an education scholarship or grant click here.