He Pānui – Student Internships – Ministry of Primary Industries

He Pānui – Student Internships – Ministry of Primary Industries

Please find below some details of summer student internships for the Ngā Pai funded Indigenous
Agroecology project. These internships (and others offered by NPM) can be viewed at

Applications close on September 20th.

1. Baseline Biodiversity – how do we measure advances along the Indigenous Agroecology

Purpose: The Indigenous Agroecology programme draws upon Mātauranga Maori and Kaitiakitanga
to develop an agroecological method unique to Aotearoa New Zealand. The project is grounded
on three case study farms and has generated interest from farmers across Aotearoa New Zealand ,
but how can we demonstrate to land owners and managers the changes that may occur as land use
patterns alter?

Programme: Devise a monitoring programme that will demonstrate the changes occurring as
principles of Indigenous Agroecology are developed and applied to a farm. The programme will
be developed in consultation with the Indigenous Agroecology team and is envisaged to include
invertebrate, bird and botanical sampling, indices of water quality, soil biology and animal health.
Some consideration should also be given to more holistic measurements such as mauri and
aesthetics. The programme should be inexpensive and applicable across Aotearoa New Zealand.

2. Establishing a space-time dataset as the basis for assessing future spatial changes in indigenous
agroecology practice

Purpose: This project would scope and implement the collection and storage of land cover spatial
data using Geographic Information System (GIS) and Global Positioning System (GPS) technologies.
A farm practicing indigenous agriculture (Te Putahi, Banks Peninsula) would be the site of this
project. This has two purposes – to form a baseline data set against which future space-time changes
can be measured and assessed, and to form a contextual dataset for the Indigenous Agroecology
programme in their project to develop a new agroecological method.

Programme: The programme will be in three stages. The first stage will be designing and
implementing a GIS database, capable of storing present and future data to enable change
assessment, but also working closely with the agroecology project and the Indigenous Agroecology
team, as they define the scope of their monitoring programme. Monitoring activities such as flora
and fauna sampling, water quality measurement will have a data component that will have to
be ‘housed’ in the database. The second stage will be GPS fieldwork to collect the data, undertaken
in conjunction with the agroecology team. The third stage will be the populating of the database
with collected data, error assessment and compilation of metadata (“data about data”) to support
future data collection.