Lydia Frater

HERA Whanake Scholarship Recipient 2022 | University of Canterbury, Civil Engineering

Ko Lydia Tōku Ingoa

Nō Ōtautahi ahau

Ko Ngā Puhi Tōko Iwi

Ko Ngaitu Te Auru Tōko Hapu

Ko whakaruruhuau Tōko Waka

Ko Pukerata (Ōtaua) Tōko Marae

Ko Pūhanga Tohorā Tōko Maunga

Ko Tuhua Mohi Ingoa Whānua


My name is Lydia Rose Frater, I am a full-time student studying at the University of Canterbury, studying towards my honors in engineering, with the intention of completing a bachelor’s in civil engineering. I chose to be an engineer because I enjoyed all aspects of science and mathematics during high school and wanted a career that included all of them; engineering allows for creativity and problem solving which fits me perfectly. I also love the idea of taking something and improving it to benefit the world and working industry while taking into consideration the factors of culture and sustainability.


My goals for my future in engineering are to complete my current studies and go into the workforce to gain experience, then look into doing my master’s in engineering management to allow for further job opportunities. I am also inspired to bring Māori culture into further involvement in engineering as I am intending on taking Māori studies in my university courses as I have previously done in high school.


I believe it is important to support Māori female engagement in engineering as it provides representation and different aspects of thinking in the industry. Māori culture has a massive part to play in New Zealand as well as engineering so combining both aspects provides more possibilities to improve New Zealand and the people. Female Māori are very unrepresented in engineering which can become discouraging, which is something I want to change, to prove engineers come in all different types of people and is possible for anyone. With representation with variation, it will dismiss the stereotype of engineers in New Zealand and the world, allowing for problem-solving to be done correctly when it involves different cultures and having the background of knowing the Tikanga of Māori.


In my free time, I am very big on my physical activity, I play netball for my local netball team, and I’ve been playing touch and kī o Rahi for the previous last couple of years. I have also participated in years of Kapa Haka which I am continuing to support my previous Rōpū. I am also involved in helping support the tangata in my living area in learning about matariki, helping the coordination of the second year of selwyn matariki festival.


I am thankful for HERA and the Māori education trust in providing scholarships and opportunities to young students like myself, it is a blessing to see organisations helping the tangata of New Zealand.