Te Kūwaha Graduate Programme

NIWA, through its Māori Environmental Research team Te Kūwaha, is working in collaborative partnerships with Māori businesses, and whānau, hapū and iwi throughout Aotearoa, combining their skills in scientific enquiry with mātauranga Māori expertise, within the frame of tikanga Māori. 

NIWA's Te Kūwaha Graduate Internship Programme has been established to help support and create tangible pathways for the next generation of Māori researchers. The purpose of the programme is to encourage Māori science graduates to consider ongoing postgraduate study and Māori-centred environmental research as a career pathway.   

Interns work across NIWA for 12-months gaining practical experience, building networks and developing a platform from which to consider their longer-term career opportunities in research. They will gain experience in freshwater, marine and estuarine science, fisheries, aquaculture, climate change and hazards, social research and mātauranga Māori, while learning how to communicate effectively with iwi/hapū/whānau and work collaboratively across disciplines.

2020-21 interns

Kararaina Te Puni

Kararaina has a background in chemistry and recently completed her honours in mechanochemistry at the University of Auckland.

Melanie Mayall-Nahi

Melanie recently finished her MSc in Environmental Management at the University of Auckland. Her thesis looked at how kaitiaki active experiences of river restoration can broaden our understanding of cultural and spiritual dimensions of restoration.

2019-20 interns

Ngāpera Keegan and Tekiteora Rolleston-Gabel were the first two young researchers in NIWA’s Te Kūwaha Graduate Programme. We caught up with them halfway through their internships to find out what they had been doing. Read the story here.

Tekiteora Rolleston-Gabel

Ngāpera Keegan


Maori Organisational Development Manager