This week's newsmaker is Mania Oxenham a Year 12 student from Rotorua Boys' High School who has been selected for the sub-Antarctic Young Blake Expedition.
He is one of 12 students who will travel to the Auckland Islands in February to commence planning for a new world-leading climate change research station. The Auckland Islands lie 465km from the South Island port of Bluff, between the latitudes 50 30' and 50 55' S and longitudes 165 50' and 166 20' E in southern Pacific Ocean.
Tell me a little about your background and your interests?
I'm from Cambridge. I grew up on a farm. I attended Te Poi Primary School and Matamata Intermediate School. Dad works overseas and mum works at the freezing works. I am the youngest of four children. I have one brother and two sisters.
My older brother went to Rotorua Boys' High School. I have been at Rotorua Boys' High School for four years and I am a hostel student.
What made you apply for the sub-Antarctic Young Blake expedition?
I heard about it through school. There was an opportunity to apply for it but you had to apply for Sir Peter Blake Youth EnviroLeaders' forum to be eligible and I had to write an essay on why I would like to go on the expedition.
My essay said I wanted to go for the experience of seeing the wildlife and visiting such a pure area, as it is pollution free.
What was Sir Peter Blake Youth EnviroLeaders' forum?
A five-day forum in Christchurch, we spent the time looking at quake damage, the rebuild and the water quality. It was an amazing experience.
How did it feel to be selected for the sub-Antarctic Young Blake expedition?
I was honoured, surprised and I felt special.
Do you have a science background?
I'm doing biology and chemistry at NCEA level 2. Biology is my favourite subject.
What will you be doing on the Auckland Islands?
We haven't been told yet but we will be helping scientists gather research.
How will this experience help you in the future?
Probably in the way I will handle farms better and I will be more environmentally aware.
What are you most looking forward to, when you go on the expedition?
Visiting such a remote area. I haven't been on a ship before.
Do you need to do anything special training in preparation for the trip?
Not that I know of, but I do have to fundraise $500. On December 5, I am going to Auckland to be shown over HMNZS Wellington, which is the navy ship we will be travelling on. (HMNZS Wellington is one of the Navy's two Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs).
The OPVs are designed to undertake patrol, surveillance, supply and support capability over long distances around New Zealand, the southern ocean and into the Pacific). We are spending five days on the islands and eight days on the ship.
What would you like to do when you leave school?
I am going to Lincoln University to study a Bachelor in Agriculture. I am looking at sheep and beef farming.