Four Māori Waikato University students looking for careers involving environmental protection are the recipients of this year’s Waikato Regional Council and Waikato-Tainui Dame Te Atairangikaahu Scholarships.

Georgia Woodward (Hamilton), Tekiteora Rolleston-Gabel (Ngāruawāhia), Tumanako Ritchie (Raglan) and Te Amorangi Heremaia-Flavell (Hamilton) received scholarships ranging between $400 and $4000.

The 2016 awards were presented at a council meeting in Hamilton today. Georgia was overseas so her award was accepted on her behalf.

Twenty-one-year-old Georgia, of Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa and Ngāi Tahu descent, is a law student who describes herself as passionate about environmental law, particularly resource management and resource consents. “I have a strong passion for the state of the waterways and keeping our rivers, lakes and oceans clean. I plan to work in the field of environmental law, particularly for my iwi.”

Tekiteora, 19, affiliates to Tūhoe, Ngāti Kahu and Ngāi Te Rangi, and is doing co-joint arts and science degrees majoring in te reo Māori and biological science, and hopes eventually to do a PhD and work in environmental protection. “I am aspiring to develop a career in scientific research, with a particular focus on its correlation to matauranga Māori (traditional knowledge).”

Whaingaroa/Raglan-raised Tumanako, 18, is doing a Bachelor of Science degree majoring in environmental science and is aiming for a career in land and water environmental management. He is from Waikato-Tainui’s Ngāti Mahuta hapu. Besides tree planting, Tumanako’s environmental protection activities have included pest control work. “I undertake possum and pig control and like to consider that this activity is beneficial for the unique coastal forest of Whaingaroa.”

Te Amorangi, 19, also from Waikato-Tainui, is studying for a Bachelor of Law with te reo Māori as a second major and has worked as an intern at the Waikato River Authority. “It is my plan to be involved in work that involves the protection and enhancement of our environment and protection of iwi interests in our natural resources, particularly our tupuna awa (ancestral rivers).”

Waikato-Tainui’s Te Arataura chairman Rahui Papa said: “Waikato-Tainui congratulate the Waikato Regional Council in an effort to grow our own local guardians of the environment. These scholarships are a testimony of iwi and council collaboration to ensure our region is working at its premium capacity for the benefit of all.” 

Council chair Alan Livingston said: “As always, we are really pleased to work with Waikato-Tainui on advancing protection of the environment in our rohe.”

The Waikato Regional Council and Waikato-Tainui – Dame Te Atairangikaahu Scholarships were established in 1991 to mark the 25th anniversary of the accession of Te Arikinui, Dame Te Atairangikaahu, to pay tribute to her leadership of the Māori people and support further education of Māori in the Waikato region studying at the University of Waikato.

Image source: Waikato Regional Council: Left to right: Waikato-Tainui Chair Rahui Papa, Amorangi Heremia-Flavell, Te Kiteora Rolleston-Gabel, Isabella Woodward (on behalf of Georgia Woodward), Tumanako Ritchie, council chair Alan Livingston.


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