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Rangi Stories – Holly Kamo

Holly is a passionate scuba diver. She is currently studying Marine Science at the University of Otago, and hopes to become a marine biologist or ocean conservationist so she can protect the underwater ecosystems she loves. Holly attended Rangi Ruru from 2017 to 2021.


In Deep for Diving

I have been diving since I was very little when I would snorkel in the ocean and watch my dad dive down to catch paua or crayfish. Some of my favourite moments are swimming with a small pod of orcas and swimming with a super pod of dolphins that was coming through Kaikoura—there were roughly over 1000 dolphins and my brother and I were lucky enough to jump off the side of the boat and swim with them.

My first big experience with the ocean started in Fiji at the age of nine where my dad gave me the opportunity to scuba dive with a local dive instructor. Since then, I’ve fallen in love with the ocean even more and knew that it was my passion, and I have been lucky enough to scuba dive all over New Zealand, Fiji, Australia and Thailand where I have been able to experience things in the ocean that many wouldn’t.

Inspired by the Ocean

Ever since I got my scuba diving qualification, all I wanted to do is be in the ocean swimming and exploring everything in it and to become a marine biologist or conservationist.

This dream has inspired me to be my best because I know that I have to work hard to reach my goals. I want to work hard to go to university and study for the degree I need to have to get my dream job.

[Tutor and Chemistry Teacher] Mrs Bissland has been the teacher to help and support me all throughout my time at Rangi Ruru. I could not ask for anyone better to help me with learning anything to do with science.

She has also given me so many amazing opportunities, such as being awarded a scholarship to take part in the Department of Marine Science’s Gifted and Talented Programme, Rangatahi o te Moana, at the NZ Marine Studies Centre, through Otago University. This experience enabled me to collaborate with students from across New Zealand to collect and record scientific data, and deepen my knowledge of mātauranga Māori.

I was also to be part of a group of girls going to Fiji for a field trip through Operation Wallace to be alongside marine biologists and field researchers, and attend the University of Canterbury Science Camp in 2020.


Pursuing Her Passion

Being under the water feels like another world. So much hasn’t been discovered yet, and so I would love to pursue a career in marine biology to be able to study and learn new things about the ocean.

Ever since I was very little, I would always be out on the boat and in the ocean swimming. I would collect heaps of shells and fossils and take them home to study and because of that my whole room is full of fossils, cool-looking shells and other things from the ocean and beaches.

I would love to work in the marine conservation area, which means my job would involve preserving and restoring marine ecosystems and helping vulnerable marine species or in the fisheries management sector helping to ensure fish stocks are sustainable.