Engineering Māori futures

Moresby Kainuku (Tūwharetoa, Ngāi te Rangi) wants to encourage more Māori to consider science as a career.

Moresby Kainuku (Tūwharetoa, Ngāi te Rangi) is engineering a future for himself and urging other Māori to do the same. The 2nd year Massey University student is studying for a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) majoring in electronics and while he’s enthusiastic about his course, he’s saddened by how few Māori get into science and technology.

“It’s like we’re locked into traditional thinking about our land, and land development and technology isn’t considered part of a Māori future”. Moresby believes Māori have little exposure to technology and don’t see it as part of their world. “But we are missing out on opportunity in terms of work and learning.”

Moresby’s enthusiasm for technology and higher learning is infectious and his influence has changed his own family. “For three years no one in my family was in tertiary study and now in one year we have nine of my cousins studying.” His pride in that fact is as wide as his grin but he says others could be following their footsteps. “I think the problem is people just don’t know what’s available - what’s here for them.” 

It was an interest in building things and watching them work that got Moresby hooked on engineering.  For five years he trained as a technician with the Royal New Zealand Navy but realised to take his dreams further he needed tertiary study. Now he works in 3D printing, robots and micro-electronics, among other fields. “I chose Massey not just because it’s close to my home on the North Shore but because the Albany campus has small class sizes with an almost whānau type atmosphere, and the research is cutting edge”. 

Studies are factored around caring for his baby son Metua-Tatare while his partner Tilah Riri is on Naval duties, but Moresby says their support has been vital. He’s already looking ahead to post graduate studies in the field of micro-electronics and nano technology and he’s looking forward to having more Māori join his ranks.

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