Position: River Research Manager (Waikato-Tainui), Waikato-Tainui College for Research and Development, Hopuhopu.
Field: Freshwater science.
Erina is a Waikato-Tainui River Research Manager. Her interest is in fisheries and restoration projects.
Erina studied chemistry at university because she was good at it at school. She worked in the chemistry laboratory at Huntly Power Station during the university vacation periods. While at Huntly Power Station, she had the opportunity to go into the field with a fisheries scientist for a week. She decided that being on a boat and catching fish was more fun than being around chemicals in a laboratory all day, so she did a master’s degree in science at the University of Waikato that combined fish and chemistry.
Choose a topic you’re passionate about.
Erina worked for the Tainui Māori Trust Board for a couple of years (1997–1999) collating initial environmental research for the Waikato River Claim.
She then worked for NIWA (1999–2006), based in Hamilton initially, then in Auckland, working primarily on eels.
Erina went back to Waikato-Tainui in 2006 because the Waikato River Claim process was heating up. She joined the claims team and provided fisheries advice for iwi co-negotiators during the settlement, which was achieved in 2008. She is currently involved in research activities in and around the Waikato River, looking at the protection and enhancement of mahinga kai species.
Erina is also involved in managing restoration projects along the Waikato River.
Erina’s interests outside of work are her whānau.
This article is based on information current in 2014.