Science Journalism Fund grants awarded

  • Predator control in Northland

    Predator control in Northland is the focus of an article by journalism grant winner Jacqui Gibson.

Congratulations to Jacqui Gibson who received a $5,000 Aotearoa NZ Science Journalism fund grant, funded by the BioHeritage Challenge, for an article covering a Te Ao Māori perspective on predator control.

The story will centre on the experience and perspective of Sheridan Waitai, a board member of Ngāti Kuri in the Far North.

“They’re in the early stages of planning the build of a large-scale predator-proof fence in Northland,” Jacqui says.

“However, the ultimate goal of the fence is to help fulfil the Board’s vision of Ngāti Kuri to be self-sufficient, strong and thriving. It’s also part of Sheridan’s late grandmother’s wishes set out in a Treaty claim called the WAI 262.”

Jacqui was inspired to write the story during a previous media interview with Sheridan where she explained what the fence represented to the iwi.

“I hope the story will help readers see the enormous value of supporting and believing in Māori leadership,” Jacqui says.

“Also that it will show that projects like these are not just about killing rats, stoats and possums and regenerating forests.

“Of course, these things are important. But ultimately, depending on how they’re managed, projects like these can help communities prosper, create jobs, educate the next generation and provide a platform for Māori and Pākehā to work shoulder-to-shoulder in new and exciting ways.”

The feature article will be published next year in E-Tangata, an online Sunday magazine run by the Mana Trust, and then available for others to use under a creative commons licence. The magazine’s kaupapa (purpose) is to build a stronger Māori and Pacific presence in Aotearoa New Zealand’s media.

Māori perspectives are central to all work being co-ordinated by the BioHeritage Challenge, in line with our commitment to blending mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge) with modern research methods. To find out more about the WAI 262 treaty claim, read the official report from the Waitangi Tribunal.