The 2019/20 winners of the prestigious Ngārimu VC and 28th (Māori) Battalion Memorial Scholarships were announced in a celebration at Parliament on 11 March, 2020.
Awarded annually in honour of the 28th (Māori) Battalion, the scholarships exemplify excellence in education as well as service and commitment to the community.
Tangirau Papa (Ngāti Koroki Kahukura, Maniapoto and Tainui)
Tangirau is studying towards a double major degree in Business and Māori at Waikato University. She says the scholarship will help her achieve this and to become a successful Chief Executive.
In her leadership, she is keen to show the next generation that Māori does not have to lose their tikanga to be in business and will demonstrate this in her journey.
“The Kiingitanga is my foundational stone and my korowai. I am draped in it, dedicated to it and moved by it. I know what I want to do.”
“I want to create jobs back home!” she says.
“I will lead by example and not be afraid to venture new paths to bring my whānau on the journey with me.”
Awatea Moxon (Ngāti Kahungunu and Ngāi Tahu)
Awatea is one of the 10 candidates who have been accepted into the 2020 Victoria University of Wellington Clinical Psychology Programme. She will begin working towards a Post Graduate Diploma in Clinical Psychology this year.
She says that this scholarship will equip her for study and allow her to focus on academic success.
“This scholarship not only contributes towards Māori representation in mental healthcare professions such as clinical psychology, but it also supports our wider Māori community who are in need of metal health support,” says Awatea.
The scholarship also carries great responsibility.
“In the example of the Second Lieutenant Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa Ngārimu and the 28th Māori Battalion as a whole, I am encouraged to advance in life with bravery and distinction; to cast aside all fear and bring forth success, tū whitia te hopo, mairangatia te angitu.”
“The incredible sacrifice that the 28th Māori Battalion made for our country inspires me to fight for the welfare of our people.”
Cassiopeia Harrison (Ngāti Porou, Te Whānau a Apanui, Ngāti Maniapoto and Ngāti Ruanui)
Cassiopeia is studying towards a Bachelor of Arts at the Auckland University of Technology doing a double major in Education and Māori Development.
She says the Ngārimu scholarship is a leg up to an education pathway that will eventually lead home to become a contributing member of her marae, hapū and iwi whanui.
“This will also bring me closer to pursuing my passion for education and the development of Māori people, language and customs,” she says.
She has a favourite saying that drives her:
Kohikohia ngā purapura i mahue ake
Hei karauna ki te ao
(May the seeds of our ancestors left behind,
Be gathered as a crown for the world)
“Through the power of education I aspire to significantly lower the unemployment rate back home in Te Tairāwhiti,
“I want to encourage a strong and prosperous community; a place where people can learn and grow for the benefits of our tamariki mokopuna.”
Dr. Marise Stuart (MBChB; BPhEd; BSc) (Ngāi Kahungunu ki Wairarapa and Ngāpuhi ki Taiamai)
Marise will use the scholarship to support her study towards a Masters in Medical Science (Global Health Delivery) at Harvard University.
Working with Professor Margaret Mutu, Manuka Henare and Harvard faculty including Nobel Laureate Professor Amartya Sen, her thesis will explore mātauranga Māori and its relationship to the wellbeing of humans and the environment.
She will also analyse the challenges of implementing mātauranga Māori, and seek strategies to advance its preservation and perpetuation.
Mātauranga Maori and its implicit embodiment of the interconnectedness, and balance, of all natural beings, is something that has always fascinated Marise.
“This knowledge base had sustained our people for centuries,” she says. “Our ongoing disconnection is revealing itself now with the extant health challenges faced by our people, our land, and our environment.
“We cannot wait while conditions continue to worsen, when we know that there is already so much to be done.
“Our land, and our people once flourished - it is up to us all to act now, so that we can flourish once again.”
Marise says Te Moananui-a-Kiwa Ngārimu was awarded the Victoria Cross for bravery, determination and outstanding leadership.
“I plan to uphold the legacy of Te Moananui-a-Kiwa Ngārimu, to help advance a kaupapa which promotes manaaki, peace and aroha, for all living beings on the planet.”
Tipene James (Ngāti Whakaue, Tapuika, Waitaha, Kearoa Tuara, Tuhoe, Ngāti Maniapoto and Tainui)
Tipene is studying towards a Master of Arts (Te Reo Māori) at Waikato University.
He says the Ngārimu scholarship is one of the most prestigious awards available to tauira Māori.
“Because it recognises the sacrifices our koroua made so that we have the opportunities we have today,” he says.
“Ngārimu represents the valour that our Māori Battalion were recognised for. Their bravery changed the landscape of Aotearoa and provided an opportunity for Māori to be seen as equal and earn the full benefits and privileges of citizenship.
“Today I enjoy those privileges that our koroua fought so hard for – many of them sacrificing their lives – and I am a humbled to be a recipient of this award.”
Tīpene is deeply embedded within his tribe. He’s a marae trustee for Te Koutu Marae in Rotorua and also a member of the Ngāti Whakaue kapa haka team.
“The Ngārimu scholarship will help me to remain focused on my educational journey and the learnings I gain will be shared with the whānau of the marae and my tribe,” says Tīpene.
Lee-Anne Tatana (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Kuri, Ngāti Kahu and Te Aupouri)
Lee-Anne is studying towards a Master of Arts (Psychology) at Massey University. She is completing a kaupapa Māori research thesis on Māori experiences while under investigation by Oranga Tamariki.
By interviewing whānau Māori who have had their children uplifted or kept their children while under investigation she aims to build a resource which will educate whānau, hapū, iwi and Oranga Tamariki culturally safe and better ways to work with whānau.
She said her overall goal after completing her studies is to head home to Te Tai Tokerau and work with her people.
“By teaching whānau the tools they need to get through one obstacle at a time, utilising tikanga and knowledge, whānau will become stronger to walk in both worlds” says Lee-Anne.
“One of the most important seeds that I will continue to plant within all whanau I come across is the seed of belief in themselves and each other. Belief that they can climb over any barriers, action their dreams and live safe and healthy lives collectively.”
Lee-Anne says it’s an honour to be a Ngārimu scholarship recipient.
“The Ngārimu VC and 28th (Maori) Battalion Memorial Master of Education Research Scholarship reminds me to aim high and be persistent. There are many obstacles in life that can throw you off course. For me, being made redundant, losing a brother and a nephew last year did just that.
“For our Maori Battalion rangatira, they lost many, witnessed brutality and were disrespected on all levels. But they continued and so will I. I am surrounded by their greatness”
Jonathan Te Rire (Ngāi Tūhoe, Ngāti Awa, Te Whakatōhea, Ngāti Tuwharetoa and Te Arawa)
Jonathan is studying towards a Doctor of Philosophy (Māori and Indigenous Development) at Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi.
Jonathan is a direct descendent of the Ngā Toenga o Ngā Iharaira of Rua Kēnana, from Maungapōhatu, of the hapū of Tamakaimoana. He has a very strong connection to the 28th [Māori] Battalion that served in Italy in the battle of Monte Cassino.
His historical knowledge of both biblical scriptures and wars provides a solid foundation for his research. It weaves together the past, present and future and he intends to locate and collate stories of the members who came from Kawerau, Maungapōhatu, Ruatāhuna and other tribal regions who did not return home and are buried in Italy.
The scholarship will go towards researching the historical and scriptural sayings from kuia and kororua of the Pūtauaki Parish and Ngā Iharaira. His work will be published as a future resource for their descendants, for Aotearoa, and for all international audiences.
“I’ve been blessed to have travelled to the Commonwealth War Cemetery in Italy during the commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of Monte Cassino. I noticed that many names there were familiar names from home,” says Jonathan.
“I want to honour those names and to ensure these names are remembered by the descendants of Ngā Iharaira and the Pāriha o Pūtauaki, as well as Aotearoa and the world.”
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