As we thank Tash for her services in co-leading Theme 2 – Mobilising for Action, we are also excited to welcome Mark Harvey (Mātāwaka no Ngāti Toa) to the co-leadership role! Here’s what Mark has to say about his passion for the theme and what he hopes to accomplish as co-lead. 

How long have you been involved in this theme?

I’ve been involved in Mobilising for Action from the beginning as a lead of Toi Taiao Whakatairanga. It’s a project that engages with public awareness of myrtle rust and kauri dieback. We do this through the arts and through hui that engage with mātauranga Māori perspectives.

I’m also the co-lead of another project that we’ve started in the last year called Toitū te Ngahere. This has the same ecological focus and emphasis on mātauranga Māori, but it is specific to outreach and programmes in schools to engage with tamariki.  

Mark Harvey

What made you want to step up into a co-lead position?

It’s a hard act to follow with Marie and Tash, they’ve definitely been doing an amazing job. I really believe in what they’re doing, and in what everyone is doing in this theme. It’s a fantastic body of work, and stepping into a co-leadership position is a great way to engage with, support, and uplift all of the projects in the theme. It’s a lovely opportunity to contribute back to this environment through working with others and helping facilitate the research of others.

What excites you most about this role?

I am excited by the potential of how we can support these projects and support where the researchers want to take them. It’s also really exciting to see what this collective mahi can do in relation to building understandings around these ecological threats and the social impacts they cause. The community and Māori perspectives around threats like myrtle rust and kauri dieback are important to emphasize. Science can’t just happen in a vacuum, and it doesn’t. I’m excited to bring people along with us in order to improve engagement in whatever way possible.

What’s one thing you hope to accomplish as co-lead?

To me, being able to support others is a personal accomplishment. I want to help carry the load for other researchers and to be able to help them do what they’re doing. I also want to be able to further this theme. I mean, we’ve got the arts, we’ve got social science, we’ve got mātauranga Māori, we’ve got iwi/hapū, and we’ve got conservationists. It is a personal joy to be able to work with something that combines lots of my interests all in one place, and I hope to share that joy with others.

Our warmest welcome to the co-lead role, Mark!

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