Growing the Puna is an internship programme for ākonga Māori enrolled in a degree or postgraduate level in hauora, sports, physical activity, or nutrition. It is aimed at those who are genuinely interested in growing their skill set, developing their skills, knowledge, and networks to contribute meaningfully to whānau, hapū, iwi and sectors in the realm of sport, nutrition, exercise, and physical activity.
The internships aim to provide opportunities for two students to participate in the development of an innovative approach to physical activity and nutrition in a project that has reciprocal benefits to both the student and the health sector.
Growing the Puna grew out of the desire to fill an identified gap between students (who have a particular focus on physical activity and/or nutrition) and both Māori communities and the health sector. Additionally, conversations in communities highlighted the necessity to strengthen the connections between knowledge creators and knowledge users recognising that all three – communities, tertiary providers, and the health sector – play roles as both creators and users.