Global Fisheries Winners Announced
The Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission today announced the two winners for the 2003/04 Global Fisheries Training
The Global Fisheries Training Programme developed by the Fisheries Commission and Nippon Suisan Kaisha, Ltd (Nissui) is
an elite 12-month training programme that allows for two Maori each year to work with Nissui in Japan. Nissui have a 50
percent stake in the Nelson global fishing company, Sealord Group Limited, in which the Commission owns the remaining 50
The two winners are 29-year-old Jason Ashford, of Te Atihau-nui-a-Paparangi and Ngati Pamoana descent, and 24-year-old
Tina Chase, Ngapuhi and Ngati Maniapoto. Jason and Tina must now undertake a two-month orientation programme commencing
in New Zealand, which will include tuition in Japanese language and culture.
Fisheries Commission Chief Executive Officer, Robin Hapi, said the interviewing panel was impressed with the calibre of
candidates for this year’s scholarship. “The Fisheries Commission has the opportunity to create highly-skilled Maori in
the fishing industry through this12-month business training programme within the Nissui global network,” Mr Hapi said.
“These scholarship recipients will have to adapt to change and work successfully at the coal face of an international
company. But they will learn a range of skills that reap rewards for the New Zealand fishing industry, and Maori fishing
Mr Hapi said the opportunities are great but the demands on the recipients of the prestigious scholarship were also
heavy. “They will be challenged right from the start. They are going into a foreign speaking country, they not only have
to learn a language, they have to adapt to the culture and protocols of how the Nissui business operates.”
“Furthermore, their own skills sets will be tested against a back-drop of adding value to the company. They will also
need to contend with every day living, commuting to and from work and creating a new network of friends. The recipients
will also have the added pressure of being trail blazers and ambassadors for Maori.”
Mr Hapi said both winners had already gained experience working in the marine environment. Jason has been in the fishing
industry for the last six years and helped develop strong Iwi/hapu relationships through his work with Tamatea
Management Services Limited in Gisborne, a project management company specialising in fisheries issues. For the last two
years, Jason has been employed as a species analyst at Sealord Group in Nelson.
Born and raised in Dunedin, Te Waipounamu, Tina has an interest in all fields of marine science, particularly marine
biology, marine ecology and fisheries management. As part of her requirements to complete a Postgraduate Diploma in
Marine Science at Otago University, Tina took on a year-long research project to investigate the age and growth dynamics
of hapuka (groper). She has also been involved in tutoring Maori students in marine ecology.