Protecting the environment and helping with Māori development are goals broadly shared by the four winners of this year’s Waikato Regional Council - Dame Te Atairangikaahu Scholarships.
The four Waikato University students involved come from Great Barrier Island, Helensville, Rotorua and Turua (near Thames).
The scholarships were presented at the end of a full council meeting in Hamilton today.
Cr Tipa Mahuta, the council’s deputy chair, said she was impressed by the desire of the winning students to work with the environment and help their iwi.
“These scholarships are a really valuable way of supporting emerging leaders and it is great to see the way they plan to help the wider community and their iwi going forward.”
The full list of the winners and their details is:
- Gina Reed, (Ngapuhi, Te Atihauni-a-Paparangi) from Great Barrier Island. $2000. “My career plans are to work as an environmental planner to help keep Aotearoa beautiful. I would love to work for my own iwi in the future to help enhance our role as kaitiaki and help keep new generations connected and aware of our environment.”
- Hemi May Hill (Te Āti Awa) from Helensville. $800. Plans a Graduate Diploma in teaching and to become a bilingual primary school teacher.
- Kiriana Isgrove (Ngati Tamatera) from Turua. $600. “For 2015-16 I plan to do my masters, and at this point I would love to get involved in environmental genetics to combine my love of environmental and biological sciences. Here we can find what genes are important for a particular species to be suited to a particular environment and understand how these genes are turned on but also how they make the animal better adapted for that environment. This would be important for the conservation of populations. For a career I really want to be involved in research, to discover new phenomenon in the field of genetics which will give conservation and restoration efforts a modern technique that can be implemented to enhance these efforts.”
- Brendon Haaka Tangiora (Rongomaiwahine, Ngati Kahungunu, Ngai Tahu) from Rotorua. $600. “I would like to be employed by either iwi or local government in an environmental management or planning role. I would especially like to acknowledge my tipuna by reciprocating my services back to my whanau. I am particularly interested in how I could utilise and enhance my skills to benefit the Tai-ranga-whenua section of the Waikato Regional Council.”
The Waikato Regional Council – Dame Te Atairangikaahu Scholarships were established in 1991 to mark the 25th anniversary of the accession of Te Arikinui, Dame Te Atairangikaahu, to pay tribute to her leadership of the Māori people and appropriately ensure the further education of the Māori people in the Waikato region at the University of Waikato.