Aaron Barnsdall

Aaron Barnsdall

Prime Minister’s Scholarship for Latin America, Indigenous Rights & Histories in Brazil


Ko Te Ika maupoho te tiipuna taane,

Ko Maungatautari tooku maunga,

Ko Ngaroto tooku moana,

Ko Waikato tooku awa,

Ko Paaraawera tooku marae,

Ko Rangi-i-te-kapua tooku whare tupuna,

Ko Ngaati Maahanga tooku hapuu,

Ko Waikato tooku iwi,

Ko Tainui tooku waka,

Ko Aaron Rangi Te Whareora Barnsdall tooku ingoa,

Kei Kirikiriroa ahau e noho ana inaaianei,

He kaikirimana ahau i whenua kaitiaki o Waikato,

Noo reira teenaa koutou,

teenaa koutou, teenaa tatou katoa.

Since returning to undertake university studies in 2020, I have been enrolled in the Bachelor of Environmental Planning – Te Ara Taiao Stream at Te Whare Waananga o Waikato (University of Waikato). Key drivers for me were not only professional development but an opportunity to enhance my career pathway within spatial science and geospatial information systems (GIS). I chose the Maaori stream of Environmental Planning to reinforce my theoretical competencies and increase my understanding and practices of Maatauranga Maaori.

As a people and culture, I believe Maaori are underrepresented in our western knowledge systems of Te Taiao (the environment). Through my studies so far, I have learned of the impacts of colonisation on Maatauranga Maaori and have taken a particular interest in decolonising methodologies. I also run my own consultancy business and have worked predominantly with iwi organisations throughout Aotearoa. My services have focused on treaty settlements, providing geospatial services across economics, planning, conservation, demography, land, and water. This experience is something I’d like to share as part of the program.