Winning Waikato Student Examines Dutch Connections
Tuesday, 31 March 2009
An essay by a University of Waikato student promoting the use of social networking tools, such as Facebook, to support Dutch culture in New Zealand has won the 2008 Hanny van Roekel prize.
(via University of Waikato) Carine Poot, who is Kiwi-born with a Dutch father, received the award from the Netherlands Ambassador to New Zealand, HE Annelies Boogaerdt, at a ceremony at the University Monday.
Offered annually by the NetherlaNZ Foundation, the $2,000 prize is open to third-year undergraduates or higher level students for research into any aspect of the Dutch community in New Zealand or relations between New Zealand and the Netherlands.
The former St Oran’s College student will graduate in May with an honours degree in Electronic Commerce, majoring in marketing and communication. She is currently working at Saatchi & Saatchi DGS in Auckland, where her job involves research into social networking.
Poot says more than 40 percent of the Dutch community in New Zealand is now over 45, and there are worries the culture will be lost. “I wanted to look at ways to engage with the younger generation of Dutch Kiwis, and social networking sites are where young people spend an increasing amount of their time.”
Her winning essay compared three ethnic community groups on Facebook, and suggested ways to create an online community that will successfully enhance Dutch culture in New Zealand.