Innovative local projects receive boost in latest funding round

Fifth round of fund, managed by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, helps four local projects grow.

Fifth round of fund, managed by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, helps four local projects grow.

FOUR innovative local science and innovation projects in the Gisborne-East Coast district are sharing grants totalling $340,000 in the 2017 Te Panaha Hihiko - Vision Matauranga Capability Fund investment round.

This is the fifth round for the fund, managed by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, which was established to grow skills and capacity for Maori participation in science and innovation, and support outcomes that benefit New Zealand.

AgResearch has been granted $100,000 for its project looking at forage selection for Whangara Farms, a partnership among three Maori Incorporations.

The project summary from MBIE says Whangara Farms faces a number of ‘‘uphill’’ challenges for increasing the productivity of their rolling hill country land blocks while minimising environmental emissions from their farming activities.

Whangara Farms has stated core values in kaitiakitanga (leadership, commitment, integrity, respect and achievement). Innovation through weaving contemporary Western science with their traditional and current matauranga is important for developing best practice management of their land.

To do this, they have sought a research relationship with AgResearch scientists who are expert in alternative pastures and pasture management in challenging landscapes. This relationship is new, and this proposal is one of the first opportunities for the two parties to collaborate.

AgResearch recognises NZ farming is under increasing scrutiny regarding sustainability, and that good stewardship requires balance across many values. AgResearch sees Maori as potential role models for the wider pastoral industry.

By sharing its matauranga (knowledge) with Whangara Farms and receiving their gift of matauranga in return, AgResearch will be empowered to help other pastoral farmers facing similar issues.

In particular, Whangara Farms is looking to adopt new pasture forage mixes that perform well, despite increasingly dryer conditions and inherently acidic soils along the East Coast.

Tangaroa Ara Rau

Another $100,000 project relating to this district is Tangaroa Ara Rau, a whakatauki (proverb) that refers to the many pathways of Tangaroa, the Maori God of the sea.

The project summary from MBIE says Maori have always been, and continue to be, strongly connected to Tangaroa.

“We are connected through our knowledge of Tangaroa including whakatauki, purakau (stories), waiata (songs), moteatea (chants) and karakia (prayers); and through our tikanga (protocols and practices) such as waka (canoes), hi ika (fishing) and mahinga kai (traditional food- gathering practices).”

Tangaroa Ara Rau will bring together a number of groups, including Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou, Hauteruruku ki Puketeraki, Te Toki Voyaging Trust, Toi Tangata, LIVEIT Enterprises (Mr Robert Hewitt) and Waka Ama New Zealand.

Tangaroa Ara Rau will work closely with them to create a network and co-develop research and resources that enhance the health and wellbeing of Maori whanau and all New Zealanders using waka.

Another project with $100,000 funding is integrating matauranga and science to sustain wild food harvest from Mahinga Kai.

The MBIE summary of the programme says the harvest of healthy food is critical to all New Zealanders — from an expression of manaakitanga, to sustaining local communities, to underpinning the value of our export food industries.

The project will capture the traditional methods of treating, preserving and cooking food, to enable the development of an integrated approach to food safety for the Uawa Tolaga Bay community.

The project involves Te Aitanga-a-Hauiti and the community under their Uawanui Project, working together with science organisations to develop understanding and innovation about safe and sustainable food gathering.

This project will link with other work under the Uawanui Project on restoration and management of freshwater ecosystems and customary fisheries management. It will also utilise existing information about wild food produced by the Ministry for Primary Industries and collaborate with Te Whare Hauora o Te Aitanga a Hauiti to complement and enhance their Healthy Families programme operating across the region.

Hikurangi Enterprises

East Coast biotech venture Hikurangi Enterprises has secured government support of $40,000 to strengthen existing research work and relationships with a number of research organisations around the country.

The Hikurangi Enterprises project will support exchanges between people involved with research and development of natural health products in the Ruatoria area and scientists at Victoria University of Wellington, Cawthron Institute in Nelson, Massey University and the Research and Technical Services division of Callaghan Innovation.

“This is an exciting opportunity for whanau here on the Coast to spend time in some of the best research labs in the world, looking over the shoulder of world-class geneticists, bio-chemists and process engineers,” said managing director Panapa Ehau.

“It also involves those researchers coming to spend time here on the Coast with the communities they are working for in their labs.”

Hikurangi Enterprises has research partnerships with each of the organisations investigating extracts from plants, fungi and shellfish, with a focus on compounds that can be used to treat certain health conditions.

FOUR innovative local science and innovation projects in the Gisborne-East Coast district are sharing grants totalling $340,000 in the 2017 Te Panaha Hihiko - Vision Matauranga Capability Fund investment round.

This is the fifth round for the fund, managed by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, which was established to grow skills and capacity for Maori participation in science and innovation, and support outcomes that benefit New Zealand.

AgResearch has been granted $100,000 for its project looking at forage selection for Whangara Farms, a partnership among three Maori Incorporations.

The project summary from MBIE says Whangara Farms faces a number of ‘‘uphill’’ challenges for increasing the productivity of their rolling hill country land blocks while minimising environmental emissions from their farming activities.

Whangara Farms has stated core values in kaitiakitanga (leadership, commitment, integrity, respect and achievement). Innovation through weaving contemporary Western science with their traditional and current matauranga is important for developing best practice management of their land.

To do this, they have sought a research relationship with AgResearch scientists who are expert in alternative pastures and pasture management in challenging landscapes. This relationship is new, and this proposal is one of the first opportunities for the two parties to collaborate.

AgResearch recognises NZ farming is under increasing scrutiny regarding sustainability, and that good stewardship requires balance across many values. AgResearch sees Maori as potential role models for the wider pastoral industry.

By sharing its matauranga (knowledge) with Whangara Farms and receiving their gift of matauranga in return, AgResearch will be empowered to help other pastoral farmers facing similar issues.

In particular, Whangara Farms is looking to adopt new pasture forage mixes that perform well, despite increasingly dryer conditions and inherently acidic soils along the East Coast.

Tangaroa Ara Rau

Another $100,000 project relating to this district is Tangaroa Ara Rau, a whakatauki (proverb) that refers to the many pathways of Tangaroa, the Maori God of the sea.

The project summary from MBIE says Maori have always been, and continue to be, strongly connected to Tangaroa.

“We are connected through our knowledge of Tangaroa including whakatauki, purakau (stories), waiata (songs), moteatea (chants) and karakia (prayers); and through our tikanga (protocols and practices) such as waka (canoes), hi ika (fishing) and mahinga kai (traditional food- gathering practices).”

Tangaroa Ara Rau will bring together a number of groups, including Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou, Hauteruruku ki Puketeraki, Te Toki Voyaging Trust, Toi Tangata, LIVEIT Enterprises (Mr Robert Hewitt) and Waka Ama New Zealand.

Tangaroa Ara Rau will work closely with them to create a network and co-develop research and resources that enhance the health and wellbeing of Maori whanau and all New Zealanders using waka.

Another project with $100,000 funding is integrating matauranga and science to sustain wild food harvest from Mahinga Kai.

The MBIE summary of the programme says the harvest of healthy food is critical to all New Zealanders — from an expression of manaakitanga, to sustaining local communities, to underpinning the value of our export food industries.

The project will capture the traditional methods of treating, preserving and cooking food, to enable the development of an integrated approach to food safety for the Uawa Tolaga Bay community.

The project involves Te Aitanga-a-Hauiti and the community under their Uawanui Project, working together with science organisations to develop understanding and innovation about safe and sustainable food gathering.

This project will link with other work under the Uawanui Project on restoration and management of freshwater ecosystems and customary fisheries management. It will also utilise existing information about wild food produced by the Ministry for Primary Industries and collaborate with Te Whare Hauora o Te Aitanga a Hauiti to complement and enhance their Healthy Families programme operating across the region.

Hikurangi Enterprises

East Coast biotech venture Hikurangi Enterprises has secured government support of $40,000 to strengthen existing research work and relationships with a number of research organisations around the country.

The Hikurangi Enterprises project will support exchanges between people involved with research and development of natural health products in the Ruatoria area and scientists at Victoria University of Wellington, Cawthron Institute in Nelson, Massey University and the Research and Technical Services division of Callaghan Innovation.

“This is an exciting opportunity for whanau here on the Coast to spend time in some of the best research labs in the world, looking over the shoulder of world-class geneticists, bio-chemists and process engineers,” said managing director Panapa Ehau.

“It also involves those researchers coming to spend time here on the Coast with the communities they are working for in their labs.”

Hikurangi Enterprises has research partnerships with each of the organisations investigating extracts from plants, fungi and shellfish, with a focus on compounds that can be used to treat certain health conditions.

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