Paul Richardson


YOB: 1964
Experience: Pāua Diver, Spearfisherman, Surf Life Saver
Regions: Catlins, Foveaux Strait, Fiordland, Stewart Island
Interview Location: Kaka Point, NZ
Interview Date: 17 February 2016
Post Date: 11 November 2017; Copyright © 2017 Paul Richardson and Steve Crawford


CRAWFORD: With regard to Māori culture and knowledge, in a very broad general sense, what kind of input has that had on your knowledge of marine ecology around New Zealand?

RICHARDSON: I would say low.

CRAWFORD: On the Science side of things, how much effect has that had on your knowledge of these ecosystems?

RICHARDSON: High. Actually, I studied Zoology.

CRAWFORD: Did you? Where?

RICHARDSON: Well I didn’t actually finish. I did it at Otago, and Massey. I had done two years at Otago because I wanted to do Marine Science actually. And someone said to me “Your chances of getting a job are pretty slim.” So, I left.

CRAWFORD: This was back when you were 19, 20?

RICHARDSON: 18, 19. Like I said before, I got a job at the freezer works working as a meat inspector. So, I was actually working at the freezer works over the varsity holidays, and I saw a job advertised and someone said “They get paid well, and they don’t do much.” [laughs] So I took this job, and it was through that really that I moved back down here. 

CRAWFORD: When you say ‘back down here’ do you mean Kaka Point region?

RICHARDSON: Back to Balcultha, Owaka initially but then Balclutha. But I did continue and do a few papers extramurally through Massey. But then they changed the funding, and the papers were put aside. So, I really ended up stranded - I only needed a couple of papers to do a degree in Zoology.

Copyright © 2017 Paul Richardson and Steve Crawford