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Mariana Pagan  

Pae Tahi

Te Wai Pounamu Environmental Planning and Management

Ngāi Tahu

Land is important especially to Māori. Our identity is shaped by the relationship we hold with the land, the physical connection to space and place, establishing tūrangawaewae.

I have embraced my whānau connection to the Tītī Islands, and to the unique practice of muttonbirding done there. As an important cultural tradition, intertwined with many customs passed down through generations, muttonbirding involves a special relationship with the land. Throughout both my childhood and my time at university, I have continued muttonbirding and have thus gained my own appreciation for the islands and my history. The traditions, people, and ties to the land that are current in the area are close to my heart. My love for the practice of muttonbirding and for the islands themselves motivates me in my work, and is an important part of my own sense of family and identity.

I aspire to be a Licensed Cadastral Surveyor. I want to assist in land related issues and development within Māori society. The mahi I am working on will develop my knowledge and understanding of land related issues, both academically and practically. I hope to gain and share an in-depth understanding of the dictates of law verses customary and traditional rights. In regards to these rights and customs, although many have already been enshrined in law, their interpretation and application is still subject to debate.

I have been involved with two University of Otago Science Wānanga programmes. The first was in collaboration with Awaru Rūnanga and the second was with Te Rūnanga o Ōtākou. On these programmes I was a mentor within in a tuakana/teina model for students. I also participate in a University of Otago science outreach programme supporting

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Mariana Pagan

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