Bluff Community Board Bursary applications now open

Some may think Bluff resident Paula Brown is a bit crazy to be doing her Master’s degree as well as planning a PhD, all while working casually and keeping three kids in tow.

There are days when she thinks the same.

But her love for the environment is pushing her through.

Brown is in the midst of completing a Masters in Environmental Management through Massey University – Distance Learning and was also a 2023 recipient of a one-year bursary of $1000 thanks to the Bluff Community Board.

She was one of three Bluff residents chosen for the Bursary in 2023, which is aimed at locals wishing to study in the New Year.

The bursary meant she didn’t have to dip into family funds to get equipment that helped with her studies, Brown said.

“Having three kids and a partner is expensive enough. This way I was able to get a second monitor, which helped immensely with my GIS paper.

“I’m really grateful to have this Bursary, which is helping me to achieve my dreams.”

With just her thesis to go, Brown is hoping to wrap up her studies this year and is already thinking about what is next.

“I’d like to move on to doing a PhD in Antarctic Environment Management. But to take a break between study, I’m planning on doing the whole of the Te Araroa Trail, then after six months get back into it.”

She said the Trail, which spans the length of Aotearoa at 3000kms (Cape Reinga to Bluff), appealed to her, not only because of the amazing sights to see along the way, but also the interesting people there were to meet.

Bluff Community Board deputy chair Tammi Topi said being able to help people with their studying endeavours was great.

“We are a small community here in Bluff and we all support each other in any way we can, so being able to present this opportunity for our people is really important.

“I’d encourage any Bluff resident thinking about study to put in an application.”

The Bursary is available for candidates who are enrolled for full-time study at university or another agreed establishment within New Zealand, or candidates who are making applications for admission to a university or other agreed establishment within New Zealand to a full-time course of study in the coming year.

More information and application forms are available from the Bluff Service Centre on Gore St between 8.30am and 5pm. Applications close on Friday 12 January 2024.

More information and an application form can be found here Bluff Community Board Bursary | Invercargill City Council (

Paula Brown takes some time out from studying to explore her backyard.