Home / News and Events / Media Releases / Earth science showcase set for Te Papa in mid-July - 24/06/2016

Earth science showcase set for Te Papa in mid-July - 24/06/2016

Hunting for dinosaur remains, learning about pounamu occurrence in the South Island, and looking after groundwater and geothermal resources will be among the earth science topics discussed at a day-long seminar at Te Papa on 14 July.

Maori Strategy Manager Bevan Hunter

Maori Strategy Manager Bevan Hunter

The free earth science showcase has been organised by GNS Science and its iwi partners to appeal to a wide audience from senior high school students to scientists and government agencies.

The event, Ngā Kura Huna a Papatūānuku or The Hidden Treasures of the Earth, will feature eight presentations on applied earth science topics plus discussion on the place of Mātauranga Māori in a modern economy.

Bevan Hunter, Māori Strategy Manager at GNS Science, said many of the speakers had national or international profiles.

“We are very fortunate to have speakers of such a high calibre covering such a wide range of earth science and Mātauranga Māori topics,” Hunter said.

He believes the event will appeal to iwi leaders and their business development staff, Māori resource owners, researchers specialising in earth science, senior high school science students and career advisors, staff from central government agencies, and those interested in Mātauranga Māori.

“In addition, the event will be of interest to people from cultures outside New Zealand who would like to know more about Māori culture in general.

“The event will also highlight how Māori relationships are not just transactional, but are built up over time on the basis of shared information and resources to achieve mutual benefit.”

Hunter said the presentations would highlight how the work of GNS Science was useful to Māori, not only contributing to their prosperity but also helping iwi find solutions for their own environmental and scientific challenges.

The doors to the venue, Soundings Theatre, will open at 10am and lunch will be provided at 12.20pm. The event is scheduled to conclude at 4pm. 

For more information and registration, go here: http://www.gns.cri.nz/Home/News-and-Events/Events/Nga-hua-o-papatuanuku

 Brief summaries of the presentations as follows:

Taparoto Nicholson (Pou Tuara ki te Tumuaki) – 10.50am
Taparoto will background the desire by Māori communities seeking to blend traditional knowledge with modern technology to protect and enhance natural resources such as geothermal energy. He will also discuss the relevance and impact of ‘statutory acknowledgements’ on the work of GNS Science. These are historic claims under the Treaty of Waitangi.

Andreas Markwitz (GNS Science) and Sylvia Tapuke (Whakarewarewa The Thermal Living Village) – 11.15am
This presentation outlines an air pollution investigation in Rotorua that is of international significance. Part of this project explores the impact of the 1886 Tarawera eruption on the respiratory health of the surrounding Māori communities.

Karyne Rogers (GNS Science) and Rangi Te Kanawa (Te Papa) – 11.45am
This presentation will outline a fascinating project to provenance more than 400 mud-dyed textile items in Te Papa’s National Collections. Funded by the prestigious Marsden Fund, the project is using isotope science to fingerprint paru (mud) samples from throughout New Zealand so they can be matched to the textiles.

Dan Hikuroa (The University of Auckland) – 1.30pm
In this presentation Dan, an authority in Mātaurangi Māori in earth sciences, will explore Māori oral tradition and builds a case to investigate pre-European place names and their relationship with local geographic and geological features.

Simon Cox (GNS Science) and Dean Whaanga (Ngāi Tahu) – 1.55pm
This presentation will profile work to expand the earth science knowledge of pounamu occurrence in the South Island. During the past decade GNS Science has supported Ngāi Tahu pounamu management through the discovery and mapping of resources to quantify amounts present and sensitivity to erosion. This has helped decision making about this resource to ensure it is wisely used.

John Begg (GNS Science) – 2.20pm
This presentation will focus on a two-year project to search for dinosaur remains and other fossils in remote parts of the Urewera Ranges, which are within the Tūhoe rohe. This part of New Zealand has yielded a number of dinosaur fossil finds in the past 50 years and geologists believe there could be  more waiting to be found. Tūhoe representatives and geologists from GNS Science and Victoria University will work together to prepare the fossils for museum or visitor centre displays and develop learning and research opportunities arising from the project.

Abigail Lovett (GNS Science) and Gina Mohi (Ngāti Rangiwewehi) – 2.45pm
This presentation will outline a collaborative project involving GNS Science, Ngâti Rangiwewehi, and Bay of Plenty Regional Council that aims to better understand freshwater resources in the Awahou Catchment at Lake Rotorua. This catchment includes the Taniwha Springs, and the main spring of Te puna o pekehaua - the home of the taniwha. This project aims to provide a scientific and cultural foundation for informing future decision making in the catchment.

Chris Hollis (GNS Science) – 3.10pm
Chris will outline a joint initiative, involving East Coast iwi Ngāti Kahungunu and GNS Science, which has been successful in increasing mutual understanding between scientists and Māori on issues critically important to iwi development such as geological hazards, climate change, and petroleum exploration.  The Ngāti Kahungunu rohe has about 500km of coastline and the iwi recognises the importance of an informed understanding of the potential risks and benefits associated with these issues.

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