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Published: 2005-06-30 00:00:00

Environment Waikato has awarded its annual Dame Te Ata Irangikaahu Maori Scholarship to Sharene Borrell of Te Kuiti.

The scholarship was set up in 1991 to mark the 25th anniversary of Dame Te Ata Irangikaahu and is awarded on merit to Maori students undertaking resource management courses at Waikato University. Sharene receives a grant of $2000 towards her studies and an opportunity to work at Environment Waikato during the summer break.

The 22 year old is Ngati Maniapoto and is undertaking her last year of undergraduate study towards a double degree – a Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts. She is concentrating on coastal geomorphology and soils, as well as Maori.

Sharene graduated first from Te Timatanga Hou, a bridging course for Maori coming to study for the first time. She has a particular interest in land use effects, especially soil suitability in coastal environments. She is also interested in sustainable marae development, identifying soil suitability for sustainable land use activities and water quality.

Sharene said she had always loved the ocean and wanted to work in an area related to the sea, despite coming from a land-based town. She has a 17 month old son, who is an ‘added bonus’ for her studies.

Chairman Jenni Vernon congratulated Sharene on balancing her studies with family life which she said was not easy. The Dame Te Ata scholarship would assist her to complete her studies and provide an opportunity to work with Environment Waikato during summer.