Thursday, May 07, 2015

Nga Pae o te Maramatanga refunded...

This just out from Joyce...

"Four more Centres of Research Excellence (CoREs) have been selected by the Tertiary Education Commission at the end of the second round of CoREs funding.

Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce has commended successful applicants, the Bio-Protection Research Centre (Lincoln University), The Riddet Institute (Massey University), QuakeCore: Centre for Earthquake Resilience (University of Canterbury) and Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga (The University of Auckland.)

The successful CoREs will focus on sustainable pest management solutions, food science and human health, earthquake disaster resilience, and Māori research. All CoREs will contribute to the economic and social wellbeing of New Zealand.

The announcement means the number of cross-institutional centres of research excellence around the country will increase from six to 10. All 10 will receive five years of funding from 2016 to 2020. 

“CoREs provide an excellent collaborative environment for the delivery of world-leading, innovative and strategically focused research. The work of all 10 CoREs will deliver benefits to New Zealand across economic, environmental and social platforms that will make a difference to the lives of all New Zealanders,” says Mr Joyce.

The announcement today follows a comprehensive selection process managed by the Royal Society of New Zealand and the Tertiary Education Commission.

All 21 unsuccessful applicants from the 2013/14 selection round of funding had the opportunity to re-submit a new application for the remaining CoREs places. Applicants had the opportunity to strengthen their proposals between the selection rounds. 

Three of the four CoREs selected today are previous CoREs who were not successful in the first round of funding last year, while QuakeCore is a brand new research centre.

Those selected include a revamped Maori Research CoRE Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga based at the University of Auckland. “The Government dedicated specific funding for a Maori Research CoRE. Of the three applicants for the Maori CoRE, the new revised Ngā Pae o to Māramatanga proposal stood out for the quality and coverage of its research programme.

CoREs have been operating in New Zealand since 2002. In that time the Government has provided over $434.5 million in funding to current and previous CoREs.

The four CoREs announced today are in addition to the six CoREs that were successful in the 2013/14 funding round. Of the 10 CoREs that will be funded, five are existing CoREs and five will be receiving CoREs funding for the first time."

Lincoln University will do very well out of this, with Dr. Jamie Ataria a Deputy Co-Chair (along with Associate Professor Jacinta Ruru at the University of Otago, and the Bioprotection Research Centre having Melanie Mark-Shadbolt managing a number of Maori research associates.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

'Water Underground'

Water still a potential graveyard for politicians it seems.

This post content through from an ex-Lincolnite, promoting a song by Anthonie Tonnon...

"We're used to vocal (often artistic in one way or another) individuals like Sam Mahon who have been highly critical of the removal of the democratically elected Councillors in 2010 and the associated 'grab' for Canterbury's water. In recent times there has emerged another artist who has joined the fray  - though from a different perspective. Former Dunedin singer-songwriter Anthonie Tonnon, who I'd argue is also a great storyteller having seen him play live recently, has written and sung about arguably the core the government's 2010 decision Canterbury's groundwater, the Water Underground..."

I'm still in awe 
at how you pulled it all off 
and driving through the drylands 
seeing irrigators installed 
I think about the coup 
you turned the rules on themselves 
you engineered that miracle 
to free the water underground 

they said you'd never take the council down 
but you just found your way around 

called it a national crisis 
you were in bed with the press 
you understood from experience how to 
make it fast and hard to digest oh you 
left them dumbfounded, unemployable 
chose their replacements yourself 
all their science from the cities couldn't keep you 
from the water underground 

they said you'd never take the council down 
but you just found your way around 
nine years out of power 
you had time to think it out 

she was one of those friends 
followed the rabbit hole to its end 
and you knew what it meant 
to get involved 

and the industry couldn't help you 
no, none of the farmers who owed you 
they let you fight in that pit alone 

but with elections still on hold 
with the cattle turning up by the truckload 
you can hear the drills working now 
on that water underground

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Lincoln Maori researchers secure more Vision Matauranga funding...

Ka mau te wehi!

Maori researchers at Te Whare Wananga o Aoraki (Lincoln uni) have secured VM funding for 2015.

Dr. Amanda Black (Tuhoe) and Melanie Mark-Shadbolt (Ngati Porou, Ngati Kahungunu ki Wairarapa) are developing a National Maori Biosecurity Network, and Dr. Jamie Ataria (Rongomaiwahine, Ngati Kahungunu, and Ngati Tuwharetoa via Cawthron, but we claim him too!) is on a project to improve water quality and river well-being.

Well done!

This success continues a show Lincoln University has developed some heft in the VM space, although we would be the first to acknowledge the VM is just one part of 'KM' (Kaupapa Maori)...

Friday, April 10, 2015

The Nature of Wellbeing: How ecosystem services contribute to the wellbeing of New Zealand and New Zealanders

After much gestation, this Department of Conservation (DoC) contracted report by Lincoln University researchers (and a couple of ring-ins including Robert Costanza) is now released.

We define ‘ecosystem services’ (ES) as the benefits people obtain from ecosystems. Ecosystems are widely considered to provide four categories of services: supporting (e.g. nutrient cycling, soil formation and primary production); provisioning (e.g. food, fresh water, wood, fibre and fuel); regulating (e.g. climate regulation, flood and disease regulation, and water purification); and cultural (aesthetic, spiritual, educational and recreational).

Interactions between ecosystem services, human needs, satisfiers and wellbeing.

Of course ecological systems have played an important role in the survival and development of Māori as a people, as they have for all societies. However, Māori identity also has more subtle connections with the land and water, such that ‘Māori aspirations and well-being are interdependent on ecosystems and ecosystem services’ (Harmsworth & Awatere 2013: 274). The relationships continue to be recited through ancient waiata/songs and whakataukī/proverbs, which rekindle the breadth and depth of their engagement with the enveloping ecosphere (Kawharu 2002; Selby 2010).

The report is available through the DoC website.

Simon Lambert

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