Ngāi Tahu Seafood supporting fishers at a grass roots level

Ngāi Tahu Seafood have set up a scholarship to help Ngāi Tahu fishers gain their Inshore Launch Masters tickets.

The scholarship is run in partnership with Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology and supported by Te Ohu Kai Moana, the Mazzetta Fund and Ngāi Tahu Seafood fishing company partners. The five-week block course enables participants to operate vessels of up to 20-metres within 12 miles of the New Zealand coast.

Ngāi Tahu Seafood Chief Executive, Brian Moriarty is pleased about the potential of the scholarship programme and says support at a grass roots level will help secure well-trained young people in the seafood industry.

“That’s key for us. We want to develop young fishers and we’re right into building the programme. It’s a good thing for whānau. It eases the pressure on their pockets and it encourages young fishers into opportunities for development. It’s a way for us to connect with Ngāi Tahu whānau at a grassroots level.”

The recipients of the first round of scholarships were Reuben Stewart, Ben Anderson, Dylan Fowler, Storm Wardrop, all from Bluff; and Rory Young and Chad Waitiri from Invercargill.

For Storm Waldrop, who affiliates to Te Rau Aroha Marae in Bluff, the course offers significant benefits.

“It’s time for me to progress to the next stage of fishing and now, because of the course, I have ultimately become my own boss. I have just purchased a boat and I’m now able to work, catching my father’s quota. And in later years, I’ll have something to instill in my two sons, which is a really important thing for me. I’m proud to be Ngāi Tahu and always will be.

“I have a lot more responsibility and pressure now but without risk there’s no reward.”

Brian Moriarty says, “We’re pleased with the first round of scholarship results and we look forward to giving other young Ngāi Tahu the same opportunity.”

The scholarships are open to all Ngāi Tahu over 16 years who have had at least 18 months of sea time on a commercial vessel. Anyone interested in applying should contact Ngāi Tahu Seafood.