Northland Regional Council has awarded eight $3,000 scholarships designed to provide a springboard for future environmental leaders and champions.
Council chair, Penny Smart said Council received 40 applications for this year’s ‘Tū i te ora Scholarships’.” The annual scholarships recognise, encourage and support students to undertake study, research or training that relates to council’s environmental and regulatory functions, whilst contributing to council’s vision ‘Our Northland – together we thrive’.”
The scholarships also aim to:
- Build Māori capacity within Te Taitokerau and assist students to pursue further education;
- Encourage greater uptake of tertiary education aimed at protecting the environment;
- Develop connections between tertiary students and council;
- Provide support to students experiencing financial hardship and difficulties;
- Encourage mātauranga Māori research and education.
The Council tightened the eligibility criteria this year to reduce the number of applicants enrolled in study unrelated to council (such as, nursing, teaching and sport), targeting people engaged in study related to council’s environmental and regulatory functions instead.
A four-strong judging panel – comprised of members of council’s Community Engagement, Māori Engagement, and Environmental Services teams, and a Te Taitokerau Māori and Council (TTMAC) Working Party representative – reviewed the applications.
Academic merit, community involvement, whakapapa to Te Taitokerau and alignment with Council priority areas were considered when selecting the final eight recipients.
Chair Smart said the judges were impressed by the high calibre of the applicants.
“Judges were also impressed by the level of community involvement and commitment of applicants helping Te Taitokerau,” she said.
“It’s great to see some talented and dedicated young people studying hard to make a difference for our environment now and for the future.”
This year’s scholarships winners are (in alphabetical order by surname):
- Tayla Bamber (Ngāti Kahu,Te Rarawa) – raised in Kaitaia, studying Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts conjoint – Majoring in Ecology, Biodiversity and Political Science.
- Fern Donovan. Born and raised in Hokianga, studying for Master of Science (focus on shortjaw kōkopu in the Waipoua River).
- Rosa Harper. Raised in Tutukaka studying for Master of Science and Society (Science Communication).Aya Morris. Raised in Kohukohu, studying for a Master of Sustainable Development Goals, specialising in Environmental Sustainability.
- Josh Otene. (Ngāpuhi/Te Rarawa). Raised in One Tree Point, studying Bachelor of Advanced Science (Honours) – Marine.
- Maria Secker. Raised in Whangārei, studying for Diploma in Environmental Management (Level 6).
- Shavonne Toko. (Te Roroa, Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Kurī, Te Rarawa). Raised in Ōmāmari and Whangārei, studying for Diploma in Environmental Management (Level 6).
- Taiawhio Wati. (Te Uri o Hau, Ngāti Whatua, Te Rarawa, Ngāti Kahu). Raised in Dargaville, studying for Master of Resource and Environmental Planning.