Jasmine Donald loves the outdoors, describing the Nelson Region where she spent most of her youth as her playground. The 2023 recipient of the Papa Pounamu Whakatutukitanga Scholarship says she has always been environmentally conscious and is thriving in her study toward an honours degree in Environmental Policy and Planning at Lincoln University. Jasmine commences her 10 week internship at WSP’s Nelson offices next week.

Jasmine is hugely excited about the opportunities that the WSP sponsored Papa Pounamu Whakatutukitanga Scholarship will bring in the coming months. The 10-week internship component of the scholarship can be filled in any of WSP’s offices across Aotearoa. Jasmine, who whakapapa to Taranaki iwi, is excited about a return to her hometown this summer.

Jasmine is majoring in water management and says that “water is everything”. She believes that water management already plays a significant role in the planning framework of New Zealand and that understanding the areas that need support and protection is vital to ensure sustainable freshwater resources. Jasmine hopes that through the implementation of an effective Aotearoa planning system, resources can be “protected and preserved for the benefit of tangata whenua and our sustainability orientated world view.” She says that the careful implementation of traditional Māori concepts and knowledge will also ensure this. “With increased awareness around Kaitiakitanga, there will be momentum to see this at the forefront of planning frameworks including sustainable ideas evolving in this sector. The impacts of climate change are becoming more apparent on our shores every day, and successful management of our water will be critical looking forward into the future”.

In awarding the scholarship, the panel recognised Jasmine’s values of Manaakitanga, by giving back. She has represented Aotearoa Football, playing for the New Zealand Secondary Schools U19 Girls Team in the USA. She is passionate about her sport and the values it brings. She currently plays for the Canterbury Women’s team. Jasmine whakapapa back to Taranaki, whom she represents in Ngā Wahine Whanapoikiri (New Zealand Māori Women’s football team). Jasmine also leads by example in her kaitiakitanga, having organised two tree planting days at St Andrews College, and recognises what an incredible and vital asset our environment is and that it must be protected and looked after for future generations.

Jasmine looks forward to working alongside WSP’s Nathan Capper - Kaitohutohu Matua (Senior Advisor) in the Nelson office. “Learning about the sacrifices my tipuna have made has inspired me to protect my Whenua for my people and future generations”, she says. “Māturanga Māori plays a large role in New Zealand’s resource management, and I aim to share, learn and use this in my career to help raise awareness of Māori leadership in this field”.

NZPI is now taking nominations for the 2024 Papa Pounamu Whakatutukitanga Scholarship. Applications close before the start of the university semester on 19 January 2024.

Click here to find out more and apply early