Hon. Dr. Pita Sharples, Associate Minister of Education, has today announced the establishment of Puawaitanga scholarships for students enrolling in a Tutahi Maori Boarding School. These scholarships will be awarded to young people who demonstrate leadership potential, to help them to attend either Hato Paora College, Hato Petera College, Hukarere Girls College, St Joseph’s Maori Girls College, Te Aute College or Turakina Maori Girls College.
Puawaitanga will provide financial assistance to cover all boarding and school fees of an individual student for their chosen school. Recipients of scholarships will also receive $1,500 every year towards costs associated with developing the student’s leadership talent. There will be ninety scholarships available in total, with each school funded for a maximum of fifteen Puawaitanga Scholarships at any one time.
Dr. Sharples said “I am delighted that there will be new funding available to support budding Maori leaders in the pursuit of their academic and cultural aspirations.”
“These scholarships have been designed to assist parents to meet the cost of boarding and school fees which, for some, have been out of reach. This will open a new avenue of choice for many parents who are considering the next steps in fostering the education of their children.”
“Maori Boarding Schools have a long and proud history,” said Dr. Sharples. “They were established to provide a well-rounded education for Maori students at a time when many of our whanau lived in remote rural communities.”
“They all have a tradition of fostering academic, cultural, and social excellence, and producing successive generations of Maori leaders who have contributed to shaping our society.”
“Each school has its own unique characteristics, but each has produced a range of talented Maori alumni who have excelled in various fields, such as politics, business, the arts, academia, music, sport and more. Dame Whina Cooper, Sir Apirana Ngata, Dame Iritana Tawhiwhirangi, Sir Archie Taiaroa, Dr. Lance O’Sullivan, Awerangi Durie, Jamie Tuuta, and Maisey Rika are but a very few names of the many Maori leaders who have emerged from these schools.”
Dr. Sharples said “I am so pleased that a new group of young Maori will be able to walk in the footsteps of these great leaders. I thank Hon Hekia Parata, Minister of Education for her continued commitment to upholding Maori educational achievement.”
Each school will be responsible for developing the criteria and administering the scholarships that have been allocated to them, and the first scholarships will be available for the 2014 school year.