Four $3000 NRC scholarship winners named

23 Apr 2020, 1:13 PM

Huia Webby (Image copyright Victoria University of Wellington).

A supplied, pre-pandemic lockdown image of one of the four Tū i te ora Scholarship winners Huia Webby. (Photo credit: Victoria University of Wellington (VUW) Image Services.)

The Northland Regional Council has named the four winners of its inaugural ‘Tū i te ora Scholarship’ programme; Courtney Sanson, Katherine (Katarina) Tautuhi, Huia Webby and Zane Williams.

The council’s Deputy Chair Justin Blaikie says the scholarships aim to support students studying or training in areas that align with council’s focus and mission of ‘working together to create a healthy environment, strong economy and resilient communities’.

Justin Blaikie.Deputy Chair Justin Blaikie…Northlanders continuing their tertiary studies – despite the current pandemic response – will have an important role to play in future and the inaugural ‘Tū i te ora Scholarship’ winners especially so.

They also aim to build Māori capacity within Te Taitokerau and provide opportunities for further education, with two earmarked for Māori who whakapapa (share a genealogical connection) to Te Taitokerau.”

Councillor Blaikie says while the scholarships were an existing initiative and applications had closed before central government introduced its Covid-19 pandemic response, they would hopefully be of even more practical value to recipients given the impact the pandemic was having on tertiary studies.

The application official period for the scholarships ended in mid-February, with 72 applications, three-quarters of which were from Māori who whakapapa to Te Taitokerau.

Over recent weeks – including as the country moved into Level Four lockdown – those applications had been reviewed by a four-strong selection panel* which had met remotely earlier in April to carry out judging.

Councillor Blaikie says the panel was unanimous in its selection of the four winners, who represent a diverse range of backgrounds and career study paths.

“The winners have now been informed and regional councillors have been briefed on their success. My fellow councillors and I congratulate them and acknowledge the very important role they – and indeed all those who applied or are engaged in tertiary studies – will have to play in our region’s collective future.”

Winners (alphabetically by surname) are:

  • Courtney Sanson; from Tautoro, near Kaikohe (Ngapuhi/Te Rarawa).
    Has a Bachelor of Science (Earth Sciences) going on to Master of Environmental Sciences (Waikato University) focusing on water quality.
  • Katherine (Katarina) Tautuhi; from Kaipara (Te Uri o Hau/Ngati Porou/Te Rarawa). Katarina has a Bachelor of Mātauranga Māori with a focus on environmental issues within Tai Tokerau. Currently studying towards a Masters of Indigenous Studies at Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi with a focus on Māori worldview of Te Ao Tūroa, the environment.
  • Huia Webby; from Whangarei (2018 Whangarei Girls High graduate). Studying Bachelor of Science majoring in marine (Wellington University) - entering second year of studies.
  • Zane Williams; from Whangarei (2017 Kamo High graduate).
    Studying for Bachelor of AgriCommerce (Massey University) .

Further information on the winners – and the scholarships themselves – will be available shortly from this website.

*(Selection panel members were Te Tai Tokerau Māori and Council (TTMAC) Working Party representative Georgina Connelly (of Te Uri O Hau Settlement Trust) and regional council staff Lorna Douglas (Eastern Coast Land Manager), Cathy Erstich (Community Engagement Manager) and Auriole Ruka (Maori Engagement Manager).