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Meschka Seifritz

Aspiring environmental scientist

As an aspiring environmental scientist, Meschka focuses on the restoration and preservation of native species

— By Meschka Seifritz with Amokura Panoho

Ko Ruahine te maunga – Ruahine is my mountain
Ko Ōroua te awa  – Ōroua is my river
Ko Tainui te waka  – Tainui is my waka
Ko Ngāti Kauwhata te iwi  – Ngāti Kauwhata is my tribe
Ko Kauwhata te Marae  – Kauwhata is my marae
Ko Hinepare te hapū – Hinepare is my subtribe 

I was born in Switzerland but grew up in Feilding, a typical student without a strong focus on academics initially. Then I was lucky to become part of the Pūhoro STEMM Academy in year 11 and my journey into the world of science and environmental conservation began. I also  surrounded myself with people at school who were disciplined and had the same drive as me.

Mentored by Māori leaders in the community and the field of science, I pursued environmental studies, focusing on water quality and pest eradication. These areas, critical to the restoration and preservation of native species, have become the cornerstone of my work.

A transformative 2018 overseas trip exposed me to global Indigenous conservation practices, profoundly influencing my approach. Post-degree, I then moved to Papamoa, working with Iwi and hapū-led conservation projects. Currently, I’m advancing my education with a Master’s degree, aiming to merge Indigenous wisdom with modern science for sustainable environmental solutions.

My work is a blend of fieldwork, project management, community engagement, and mentoring, driven by a mission to empower communities, enhance biodiversity, and foster ecological harmony. I’m committed to making a tangible difference, leveraging collaboration, innovation, and education to support ecological balance — one project, community, and ecosystem at a time.

Meschka’s tips

  • Don’t underestimate the power of believing in yourself
  • 1% better each day is 365% better a year
  • Choosing not to go for that run you’ll sit in hours of guilt; Choosing to run will be physically hard. It’s hard either way, so just choose the right hard

Meschka’s pathway

  • Pūhoro STEMM Academy
  • Bachelor of Arts (Environmental Studies), Massey University

A version of this profile also appears in our upcoming issue of Careers with STEM: Indigenous. Sign up to our newsletter to receive updates on its launch date.

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