February 25, 2014
Pingao researchers weave disciplines together
A research project into the threatened coastal plant pingao is being seen as a way to unlock Maori innovation.
Lincoln University ecology lecturer Hannah Buckley and Maori environmental planning lecturer Simon Lambert have secured $75,000 for the project from the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment’s Te Punaha Hihiko Vision Matauranga Capability Fund.
They will work with researchers from Victoria University, Te Taumutu Runanga from Waihora-Lake Ellesmere and Ngati Hinewaka from the south-east Wairarapa coast.
Dr Buckley says they will share knowledge by running workshops of interest groups working with the hardy yellow-leafed sedge, including biologists, ecologists, geneticists, conservationists, social scientists, and traditional weavers.
It’s hoped the research network will generate be innovative ideas for plant conservation, ecology, sustainability and resource management in general.
She says the project is also designed as a mentoring platform for Maori students engaged in postgraduate studies.
As well as being used to weave kete and other items, pingao is a key indicator of biodiversity through its capacity to create an environment which allows for the establishment of other native species on sand dunes.
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