$500,000 Scholarships Programme Offers Targeted Support For Maori Development

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A major scholarships programme to support the development of Maori business capability and the growth of Maori industry is seeking to fill 50 scholarships for Maori tertiary students in 2013.

18201221322601_Henare Kapa 2 - Version 2Applications are now open for the 50 scholarships worth $10,000 each, which form part of an expanding programme created by Te Putea Whakatupu Trust, an independent charitable trust set up as part of the Maori fisheries settlement.

Three individual scholarship programmes have been created to target specific areas of Maori economic development, including a new farming and agriculture scholarship being launched this year. Worth a total of $100,000 annually for Maori who are enrolled in farming and agriculture degree-level study, the Whanui Scholarships are the result of an exciting new 50:50 funding partnership between Te Putea Whakatupu Trust and the Federation of M?ori Authorities. Ten Whanui Scholarships worth $10,000 will be offered annually.

The Federation of Maori Authorities is a national body representing Maori trusts and incorporations, the majority of whom are involved in agriculture with dairy, beef or sheep farming operations. The partnership with Te Putea Whakatupu Trust on this scholarship acknowledges the growing focus on building Maori capability in the farming sector.

In 2011, the Trust in partnership with the Maori Education Trust established the annual Tawera Scholarship of $10,000 each for up to 30 Maori enrolled in business, commerce or management degrees. In 2012 Te Putea Whakatupu Trust added the Rona Scholarship 10 scholarships of $10,000 for students working toward a degree in fisheries, aquaculture or marine sciences.

The Tawera, Rona and Wh?nui scholarships are symbolically named after stars which early Maori used to guide their voyages and signal important times of the year. The star Whanui (Vega) is associated in Maori tradition with harvesting.

Trust chair Richard Jefferies said the Trust was working closely with Maori business and industry leaders nationally to determine the priorities for strategic education and training initiatives. There is potential to build the programme in future years with scholarships supporting other key industries, Mr Jefferies said.

This is a crucial time for Maori. As iwi settle their Treaty claims and develop economic capability, there is a pressing need for education and training support in general business as well as specific industries.

Our scholarships are a key element of our strategic focus to lift the number of Maori with management, commerce and industry science skills who will be able to take up middle and senior management roles across a broad range of industries.

Te Putea Whakatupu Trust was established in 2004 under the Maori Fisheries Act with a fund of $20m to support education, training and workforce development. Its activities include helping struggling primary school children in a pilot literacy and numeracy programme and investigating new schooling models to lift Maori success in education.

As part of the Trusts scholarship programme, recipients attend the Trusts two-day annual conference Nga Whet? Hei Whai: Charting Pathways for Maori Industry Futures. Mr Jefferies said the national conference provides a valuable opportunity for New Zealands future economic leaders to meet the movers and shakers of todays business world, to learn first-hand from their experiences and insights, and to begin building professional networks.

Our scholarship recipients are preparing to move into the workforce to gain critical industry experience. They are potential Maori business leaders who, on graduation, will be well-positioned to contribute to economic growth, and many of them have long-term aspirations to use their skills and knowledge to benefit their iwi and the Maori economy generally.

For more information about scholarship applications, go to Te Putea Whakatupu Trusts website – www.tpwt.maori.nz

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