October 17, 2023
Media release: Ten Waikato tauira win Dame Te Atairangikaahu scholarships
Ten Waikato tauira win Dame Te Atairangikaahu scholarships
Ten Waikato tauira (students) studying a range of academic fields have won Waikato Regional Council and Waikato-Tainui – Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu Scholarships for 2023.
The scholarships provide between $2300 and $4400 to support Māori students pursuing full-time undergraduate programmes at the University of Waikato, particularly in resource management or environmental fields.
This year’s winners are Tina Hille-Taylor, Keana Hepi, Tui Barrett, Tiffany Walker, Mekayla Peneha, Aaron Barnsdall, Ella Cooper-Levin, Kimihia Solomon-Banks, Atawhai McDonnell and Jasmine (Ngahuia) Young.
Te Arikinui, Dame Te Atairangikaahu served as Māori queen for more than 40 years, and the scholarship was established in her name in 1991 to mark the 25th anniversary of her accession, pay tribute to her leadership of Māori and promote further education for Māori in the Waikato region.
Glenda Taituha, general manager of heritage and identity at Waikato-Tainui, says the scholarship programme continues to fulfil its purpose and builds on an educational legacy that is 32 years and still going strong: “We are extremely proud to see these next ten tauira take up the wero, to develop their knowledge and skills so that they can take them back and empower their whānau, hapū and iwi.”
Bruce Clarkson, the council’s deputy chair and a professor of ecology at the university, says he’s particularly pleased to see the scholarships build capacity in environmental areas: “I am deeply involved with researching and restoring indigenous ecology, so I am very happy when I see students like Tiffany and Aaron heading down this career path.” He says it would be good to see more scholarship applicants from these fields in 2024 and beyond.
Applicants must be enrolled in full-time undergraduate study at the University of Waikato, be of Māori descent, and from a family that resides in the Waikato Regional Council boundary. Applications close every year on 30 June.
About the tauira
Tina Hille-Taylor (Te Waenganuitanga): Studying a Bachelor of Management Studies with Honours and Bachelor of Laws, the 19-year-old lives in Kirikiriroa Hamilton.
Jasmine (Ngahuia) Young (Te Rarawa): The 20-year-old is due to complete a Diploma in Te Tohu Paetahi and is enrolled for further undergraduate study.
Keana Hepi (Tainui): Studying a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws, the 19-year-old lives in Kirikiriroa Hamilton.
Tui Barrett (Tainui/Kaitahu): The 26-year-old wāhine from Kirikiriroa Hamilton is undertaking a Bachelor of Health Sport and Human Performance.
Tiffany Walker (Ngāti Tūwharetoa): The 36-year-old wāhine from Tūrangi is undertaking a Bachelor of Environmental Planning in Te Ara Taiao: Māori and the Environment.
Atawhai McDonnell (Tainui): The 19-year-old from Kirikiriroa Hamilton is undertaking a Bachelor of Arts.
Mekayla Peneha (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Maniapoto, Te Rarawa, Ngāti Kahu): The 30-year-old from Ngāruawāhia has just commenced her third year of study of a Bachelor of Health in Poutū-manahau Population Health.
Kimihia Solomon-Banks (Tainui): The 24-year-old wāhine from Whāingaroa Raglan is undertaking a Bachelor of Business.
Aaron Barnsdall (Waikato, Raukawa, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Ngāti Pūkenga, Pouākani): Undertaking a Bachelor of Environmental Planning in Te Ara Taiao: Māori and the Environment, the 38-year-old lives in Kirikiriroa Hamilton.
Ella Cooper-Levin (Whakatōhea): Completing Honours year of her Bachelor of Computing and Mathematical Sciences, the 21-year-old comes from Te Kauwhata.
Photo: (Left to right):
Back row: Bruce Clarkson (Waikato Regional Council), Dr Charles Lee (University of Waikato).
Middle row: Kimihia Solomon-Banks, Glenda Taituha (Waikato-Tainui), Tim Manukau (University of Waikato), Aaron Barnsdall, Tui Barrett, Johnny Kenny (Waikato Regional Council), Tina Hille-Taylor.
Front Row: Mekayla Peneha, Hone Thompson (Tumuaki o te Kingitanga), Jasmine (Ngahuia) Young, Atawhai McDonnell, Tiffany Walker, Keana Hepi.
Absent: Ella Cooper-Levin.