In November last year our Mātauranga kete launched a pilot programme aimed at building a database of iwi divers who may be able to assist with customary dives by offering three PADI Open Water Diver scholarships.
Successful applicant Jasmine Luke tells us why she wanted to take up this opportunity and what she thought of the course.
“My dad is a diver, when I was younger my mum wouldnt let me go diving, but now I’m older I can do what I want. I have been free diving for 2 years now so when the opportunity came up through Rangitāne o Wairau to apply for a scholarship to learn to scuba dive I thought why not, what have I got to lose.
I have thoroughly enjoyed learning to dive, there was quite a lot of reading to do, there’s so much you need to know, it’s not just a matter of jumping into the water.
Bryan from Blenheim Dive Centre is an amazing teacher, he teaches at the level the student is at, he’s very patient.
Now that I have my ticket Im looking forward to contributing when it comes to occasions such as tangihanga, I’ll be able to go out with the guys to gather kaimoana. I also want to share the knowledge and help others when they start out diving. Maybe dad might show me some of his secret spots.”
Bryan says Jasmine is a natural in the water and says she is, “absolutely loving the opportunity to learn scuba diving.”
Dylan McManaway and Nathan Thompson also received a scholarship, both are super keen to get back in the water with Bryan soon to complete the course.