The first recipient of the Arthur Hinds Scholarship reckons he’s landed a dream job.
Based in Whitianga on a work placement with Waikato Regional Council and the Department of Conservation, Tony Goodall has been on the job just a couple of weeks and already he’s off to Great Mercury Island for about eight days.
“I’ll be working with DOC to eradicate Argentine ants,” says the 21-year-old Bachelor of Science graduate who lives in Thames.
“It sounds like it will be hard work but it’ll be very cool.
“Some people are jealous of the work I get to do.”
The scholarship was set up earlier this year by the regional council and DOC in honour of the late Whenuakite farmer Arthur Hinds. Arthur, whose conservation efforts were instrumental in helping to restore the Coromandel brown kiwi population in the Whenuakite Forest, had served many years as a Waikato Conservation Board member and was a Waikato regional councillor.
The jointly-sponsored scholarship recognises Arthur’s passion for the environment and supporting young people’s learning around it.
DOC’s Whitianga operations manager, Nick Kelly, says Arthur was known for his ability to recognise hard work, roll up his sleeves and get stuck into whatever needed doing, and this is reflected in the work being done in the placement.
“The scholarship is less about academics and research but more about practical work experience opportunities.”
Tony gets to work between both organisations, “when things need to be done, I am there”.
With the regional council, Tony has been working with the catchment management officers in the Coromandel Peninsula, and he’s loving meeting and working through plans with landowners to help them protect the environment.
“I really love meeting new people; meeting people who want to help improve their land.
“We went to see how we could help a farming couple last week and he was making me baked beans and spaghetti on toast while we talked about options for planting and erosion control on their property.
“That’s what I love about the job; the range of work I am doing.”
A total of 16 students applied for the Arthur Hinds Scholarship this year.
Waikato Regional Council Coromandel zone manager Dean Allen, who was on the selection panel, says the applicants set a really high bar but Tony stood out because of his connection to the Coromandel and can-do attitude.
Tony will work with both DOC and the regional council for 10-12 weeks.