Associate Minister of Education, Kelvin Davis, today announced the appointment of David Stone as D Company Representative for the Ngarimu VC and 28th Māori Battalion Memorial Scholarship Fund Board.
David Stone of Ngāi Tāmanuhiri, Te Aitanga-a-Māhaki, Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Toa Rangatira and Ngai Tahu is a Barrister and Solicitor, and a founding partner of Te Mata Law Limited.
“He is passionate about social justice issues and achieving equity and equality before the law,” Mr Davis said.
Mr Stone has led a project working with the New Zealand Defence Force Archives to identify medals that were never claimed by Battalion soldiers and personnel.
“The project initially supported the whānau of C company soldiers who never claimed the medals that were issued to them at the end of their service. With the support of Tā Robert Gillies, David guided whānau members of D Company through the army’s administrative process to receive the unclaimed medals of their tupuna,” the Minister said.
“David has excellent understanding of Māori language and tikanga, and a strong commitment to Māori education. He primarily links to the Māori Battalion through his grandfather, Dooley (Turi) Swann, who served in the Battalion’s C Company.”
The Board has a rich history of supporting ākonga Māori in their chosen field of study, which will only continue with the mix of skills Mr Stone will bring to the Board, he said.
The position of D Company Representative was previously held by Dr Melanie Riwai-Couch who resigned in July of 2022.
“The Board have benefitted greatly from Dr Riwai-Couch’s expertise, aroha and professionalism. Her support and leadership for the scholarship selection process, and mahi in the conception of the Ngarimu Teaching and Learning Resource kits was invaluable,” Mr Davis said.
Mr Stone will join existing members, Dr Te Tuhi Robust as A Company representative, Dr Reuben Collier (MNZM) as B Company representative, Associate Professor Linda Te Aho as a past Ngarimu Scholarship recipient, and Mr Phillip Heeney as the Māori representative nominated by descendants of Hamuera Ngarimu and Marea Ngarimu.
The Board was established in 1945 with the purpose of supporting Māori in education, and to promote and encourage the prosperity of te reo Māori and of Māori history, tradition and culture.