Law Student wins doctoral scholarship

1 April 2016

PhD student Adrienne Paul is the recipient of the Waikato University Doctoral Scholarship worth $66,000 over three years.

Her PhD is entitled Does the Resource Management Act 1991 have sufficient environmental and cultural protection mechanisms for New Zealand relative to the MV Rena disaster?

“I’m focusing on the spiritual aspects related to Māori views and concepts,” Adrienne says. “At present it’s difficult for lawyers to justify this aspect of an argument in court.”

Adrienne chose to use the example of the container ship MV Rena on Astrolabe Reef as it was the first major environmental disaster in New Zealand. She also witnessed discussions that were happening around the incident as she was on the Te Patuwai Tribal Committee. She attended regular meetings with external organisations and reported information back to Te Patuwai Hapu. It was this journey that inspired Adrienne to undertake her research in Māori legal issues within the environment.

Alongside her research, Adrienne works as a Māori mentor and law tutor at Te Piringa – Faculty of Law and a note-taker for Disability Support Services.

“The scholarship has taken a lot of pressure off me financially,” she says. “Studying, working and caring for my family all at the same time isn’t easy.”

Adrienne completed a Bachelor of Laws at Waikato in 2013 with a double major in law and in management communication. She also completed a Master of Laws in 2014. Adrienne will be coming to the end of the first year of her PhD in June. “It’s an honour to have the recognition and financial support of Waikato University.”

Applications for the next Doctoral Scholarships close 30 April 2016. Apply today