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Scholarships to boost Maori and women foresters

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Forestry ministers Shane Jones and Meka Whaitiri have launched a new forestry scholarship today to increase the number of women and Maori in the industry.

Nga Karapihi Uru Rakau scholarships will provide $8,000 a year to Maori and female students enrolling in either a Bachelor of Forestry Science or Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) in Forest Engineering at the University of Canterbury.

Also included is a paid internship with either the new forestry agency Te Uru Rakau or other forestry employers.

Four scholarships will be awarded for the 2019 academic year, increasing it to a total of 18 over the next three years.

The ministers say the one billion trees programme is a key focus for the Government and it needs to ensure the country has the right skills today and in the future to increase sustainability, productivity and value in the primary industries, and address environmental challenges.

Ms Whaitiri says the forestry sector employs few women and Maori are under-represented in the professional areas of the industry.

The scholarships will be available both to school leavers and people working in the industry who want to upskill and undertake tertiary study.

Applications open in September and close in December with the successful applicants announced early next year.

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