Affiliation: Bio-Protection Research Centre, Lincoln University
Role: Interim Executive
Melanie is of Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Porou, Te Arawa, Te Āti Awa, Ngāti Raukawa and Ngāti Tūwharetoa descent.
Melanie is an Indigenous environmental sociologist, and the Māori Research Manager – Kaiārahi for the Bio-Protection Research Centre (a Centre of Research Excellence) based at Lincoln University. She is also the Māori Manager for New Zealand’s Biological Heritage National Science Challenge, a founding member of Te Tira Whakamātaki; the Māori Biosecurity Network and a project leader and researcher in a number of National Science Challenge, Tertiary Education Commission and Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment programmes including ‘Mātauranga Māori characterisation of NZ’s biodiversity,’ ‘Protecting NZ’s primary sector from plant pests: a toolkit for the urban battlefield,’ and ‘Protecting New Zealand from extreme fire.’
Since 2011 Melanie has been funded through various research institutes and government agencies to examine disaster risk reduction (DRR) and the effects of the Canterbury earthquakes on Māori communities, work that she believes links closely to the biosecurity sector. Melanie worked for Te Runanga o Ngāi Tahu and its education subsidiary Te Tapuae o Rehua from 2001-2008.