Robyn Patient

THRIVE

Robyn Forestry
Te Arawa & Ngāi Te Rangi

Tell us about your forestry degree!

It’s really broad. We cover biology, chemistry, economics, land management and even touch on civil engineering. Forestry is such an exciting industry because there’s so much growth yet to come. There’s a lot of innovation and opportunities with conservation in particular.

Do you have a particular goal?

I’d really love to work in conservation and help reverse centuries of neglect and destruction in New Zealand landscapes. I’d particularly like to work with Iwi and Māori landowners, to improve the relationship between them and the private sector.

Fantastic! And does your degree get you out into the field much?

All the time. We do a multi-day field trip every year and most weeks we have at least one outing. They’re a lot of fun because you get to practice what you’ve learned in the classroom.

What’s been your favourite trip so far?

We visited the property of a former lecturer in North Canterbury. He had a huge amount of knowledge and could describe the attributes and benefits of each tree. It was really cool to see how he had mapped out the landscape and planted to achieve his goals.

Tell us about the internship you did in Wellington!

I worked for the Ministry of Primary Industries in the emissions trading scheme reform team. My role involved reviewing submissions on proposed amendments to the Climate Change Response Act 2002. This also involved submissions on environmental law so there was a great deal of collaboration between the Ministry for the Environment and Te Uru Rākau (Forestry NZ).

"Forestry is such an exciting industry because there’s so much growth yet to come."

What did you learn from that experience?

I got to learn how all public service departments within government interact and work together to build laws, grants and schemes that benefit New Zealand in many ways. It was great to get job experience and develop my consultation skills.

Has it been easy to make friends at UC?

Definitely. In forestry we’re a small, close-knit group. We have a group chat, we study together, we have a room in the forestry building where we all hang out. I’ve also made friends through the halls. I’m flatting with some of them now and I think we’ll be lifelong friends.

Any words of advice for high school students reading this?

Do a lot of research. I stumbled across forestry by chance on the UC website. Read about all the options available so you can get a sense of what’s right for you.