Civil Engineering

Nona is a PhD candidate in Civil and Environmental Engineering. His thesis aims to facilitate more efficient collaboration between Māori communities and non-Māori parties to utilise and develop geothermal resources.

Research area

"As a member of Te Ārawa and Tainui iwis, I am regularly engaging with various members of Te Ārawa and Ngāti Tūwharetoa hapū and obtaining historical and cultural mōhiotanga (knowledge) of Māori communities’ spiritual and physical links with geothermal resources in the central North Island.

Within geothermal development, Māori communities are under-benefited, and with little sustainability, our Te Ārawa and Tūwharetoa people are at risk of losing the very gift that our ancestors have thrived with for hundreds of years.

Moving to Auckland

"I am originally from Rotorua. I attended Te Kura Kaupapa Māori ō Ruamata from the time I left kindergarten, to the time I graduated from high school. We spoke Māori at all times while at school.

Auckland always seemed like a place too big for me to comprehend, and the university’s city campus especially seemed too bustling for me when I first came here to check it out. I was not used to so many people being in one place at a time. However, Auckland has become a great place of plentiful opportunities for me and has given me a much wider and high-aiming perspective on my potential career direction.

“I believe doctoral research will help me broaden my horizons in the interface between Māori culture and environmental engineering.”

Choosing the University of Auckland

"Throughout my studies at the University of Auckland, I recognised a genuine desire by the faculty, and particularly the civil department to create change in recognising the importance and value of engaging in Māori values and investing in the future of Māori youth. The University is a leading example in this area, and I wouldn’t want to do what I am doing anywhere else.

I believe that the University of Auckland provides the best backdrop for my research to be as influential and thus, as effective as it can possibly be."

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Our doctoral students come from diverse educational and professional backgrounds. Learn about what brought them to doctoral study.