Winners of the 2016/17 Ngārimu VC and 28th (Māori) Battalion scholarships

The winners of the 2016/17 Ngārimu VC and 28th (Māori) Battalion have been announced.

Awarded annually in honour of the 28th (Māori) Battalion, the scholarships exemplify excellence in education as well as service and commitment to the community. The 3 winners of the master’s scholarship will receive $15,000 per year for up to 2 years. The 5 undergraduate scholarship winners will receive $10,000 per year for up to 5 years. All winners of the 2016/17 Ngārimu VC and 28th (Māori) Battalion Memorial Scholarships will be recognised at an awards ceremony in April 2017. 

Masters Scholarship winners

Ana Montgomery-Neutze (Muaūpoko)

Ana Montgomery-Neutze (Muaūpoko).

Ana is working towards her Masters in Social Documentary Film, at the School of Visual Arts, in New York. Before she moved overseas Ana worked as a teacher, and then at the Ministry of Education, before deciding to pursue a career in filmmaking.

Ana says she aspires to become a New Zealand-based documentary filmmaker, specialising in kaupapa Māori and the arts.

Documenting people has been a long-held passion of Ana’s, and she is particularly dedicated to giving life to stories for and about iwi Māori that might not otherwise be told.

Ana has been an active supporter of development initiatives, fundraising ventures and marae maintenance projects for her hapū and iwi.

Maia Wikaira (Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Ngāpuhi and Te Rarawa)

Maia Wikaira (Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Ngāpuhi and Te Rarawa).

Currently living in California, Maia is studying towards a Masters in Environmental Law and Policy at Stanford University.

Prior to committing to further study, Maia worked as a lawyer at the law firm Kāhui Legal for more than 5 years.

Maia says she chose to study environmental law and policy to achieve better water management outcomes for her whānau and iwi.

She believes strongly in empowering rangatahi, and has taken on a tuakana role at home within her iwi, and in the USA for rangatahi visiting her university.

Maia’s Masters research focuses on challenging the current water allocation framework to empower iwi.

In October 2016, Maia presented at the World Indigenous Law Conference in California

Arena Williams (Te Aitanga a Mahaki, Rongowhakaata, Tūhoe, Whakatohea, Kāti Mamoe, Kāi Tahu)

Arena Williams (Te Aitanga a Mahaki, Rongowhakaata, Tūhoe, Whakatohea, Kāti Mamoe, Kāi Tahu)

Arena has a proud family history of service in the armed forces with her great grandfather serving in WWI, and Grandfather in WWII.

Arena will start a Masters in Law at Auckland University next year, and her thesis will focus on the taxation policy and law for Māori entities.

She wants to marry the knowledge she gains through her study with her passion for Māori communities, and for her iwi and whānau.

Arena was brought up surrounded by her kuia and koroua, who valued education and served their whānau without asking for anything in return.

In addition to undertaking her masters, Arena will study te reo Māori in an immersion environment at Te Wānanga Takiura in 2017.

Undergraduate Scholarship winners

Ezekiel Raui (Te Rarawa ki Hokianga, Ngāpuhi)

Ezekiel Raui (Te Rarawa ki Hokianga, Ngāpuhi).

Ezekiel is studying towards a Bachelor of Business Studies at Massey University.

He strongly believes that in order to change the way people think and act, we have to lead by example. Ezekiel has been an advocate for improving rangatahi mental health by encouraging people to openly talk about their problems.

Dr Lance O’Sullivan has been a mentor to Ezekiel. Under this mentorship he was chosen as a NZ representative to attend the White House Tribal Leaders Gathering in Washington DC, hosted by President Obama.

In 2014, Ezekiel was a recipient of the Young Managing Director of the Year award from the Young Enterprise Trust.

Tekiteora Rolleston-Gabel (Ngāi Tūhoe, Ngāti Kahu, Ngāi Te Rangi)

Tekiteora Rolleston-Gabel (Ngāi Tūhoe, Ngāti Kahu, Ngāi Te Rangi).

Tekiteora attends Waikato University and is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science.

Tekiteora’s first language is te reo Māori, and she attended kura kaupapa Māori and wharekura before enrolling in university.

She says her kaupapa Māori education greatly influenced her interpretation of science from a Mātauranga Māori perspective, and this understanding has enhanced her tertiary study.

Tekiteora has many whakapapa links to the 28th Māori Battalion, including her great grandfather who served as a private in WWII alongside his brother.

On completion of her undergraduate studies, Tekiteora hopes to continue studying at Masters and PhD level, focusing on science and its correlation to Mātauranga Māori.

Tipene James (Te Arawa)

Tipene James (Te Arawa).

Tipene will next year begin working towards a Bachelor of Arts at Waikato University.

He has a family connection to the 28th (Māori) Battalion with both of his great grandfathers having been members of its B Company.

Te Reo Māori is Tipene’s passion, and he has been the top Te Reo Māori student in each of his years at Rotorua Boys High School.

Tipene is also a kapa haka enthusiast, and has competed in kapa haka at a regional and national level. He has also travelled internationally to perform.

His talents do not end there, Tipene has also competed and won medals both nationally and internationally in waka ama and Va’a Outrigger Canoeing.

Participating in life at his marae has provided Tipene with an understanding of Te Arawa tikanga and kawa, and he hopes to one day follow in his father’s footsteps and become a marae trustee.

Jack Potaka (Ngāti Hauiti, Ngāti Tama, Ngāti Tūwharetoa)

Jack Potaka (Ngāti Hauiti, Ngāti Tama, Ngāti Tūwharetoa).

Jack attends Auckland University where he is studying towards a Bachelor of Law, Bachelor of Arts.

His first language is te reo Māori and he is another scholarship recipient with a strong family connection to the 28th (Māori) Battalion. Two of Jack’s great uncles were members.

In 2014, Jack spoke at the dawn service at Chunuk Bair in Gallipoli, as the winner of the ANZ RSA Cyril Bassett VC Speech Competition.

Jack has had many academic successes, including being awarded Dux, Top English Scholar, and Top Māori Student at Rotorua Boys High, and winning the Ngā Manu Korero Senior English Impromptu trophy.

Knowing who he is and where he comes from through his whakapapa, enables Jack to stand tall in both te ao Māori and te ao Pakehā.

Kaahu White (Te Rarawa, Kāi Tahu)

Kaahu White (Te Rarawa, Kāi Tahu).

Kaahu is a student at Otago University where she is working towards a Bachelor of Law, Bachelor of Arts.

She is very passionate about te reo Māori, and continues to pursue her goal of becoming fully fluent and confident.

Kaahu tutors 2 Māori language and culture papers at Otago University

She has lived in both the rohe of her Kāi Tahu iwi and her Te Rarawa iwi, and whanaungatanga and iwi involvement are key things in her life.

In her final year at Northland College she was awarded Dux of the school, and was also Head Girl.

Kaahu is an active member of the Māori Students Association at the University of Otago, the Māori Law Association, and is involved in a 3 year cadetship with Kāi Tahu.

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