Nikora Warren Heitia is a Research Assistant, Māori Policy Team, Bay of Plenty Regional Council.

Nikora Heitia
  • Qualification and GIS component: Year 2 paper, Introduction to GIS (Bachelor of Environment Studies)
  • Tertiary Institute: Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiarangi, Whakatāne

Why did you choose to study GIS?

GIS is a very important component today in terms of Iwi management Plans, and environmental issue submissions. I wanted to learn the skills I need to help my iwi, and make a contribution to resolving surrounding environmental issues.

What are some of the benefits you’ve experienced from studying GIS?

Having some knowledge of GIS helped me to get an internship at the Bay of Plenty Regional Council. The council has been great and have given me small GIS tasks which have helped me to gain huge experience and given me the opportunity to impress my employer and co-workers.  I’ve applied for a GIS Analyst opportunity, so hopefully I will get the opportunity to keep working in this area.

How important is GIS for your existing and future career options, and why?

My ultimate goal is to create an Iwi Management Plan, that uses GIS to address numerous environmental issues in my home town of Whakatāne. The skills and experience I’ve gained through my study and internship have given me a strong foundation to build on. 

What advice would you give to future students considering adding a GIS component to their studies?

GIS is a prominent component today across so many sectors, and especially with managing environmental issues. It’s a huge advantage to hold skills in GIS and I’d encourage anyone to add some GIS papers to their studies.

Last Updated: 20 October 2015