United Nations Vision: Christina Couling.
A Waikato University student who one day wants to work for the United Nations has won a scholarship named after the late Māori Queen.
Christina Couling is one of two University of Waikato students who recently received a Dame Te Atairangikaahu Scholarship which is run by the university and funded by Environment Waikato.
The scholarship, worth up to $2000, was set up in 1991 to mark the 25th anniversary of the late Dame Te Atairangikaahu and to ensure the further education of Māori people. Māori studying full time at an undergraduate level in the resource management or environmental fields at the University of Waikato are eligible to apply.
Couling, who is of Ngāti Porou descent, went to primary school in Tokoroa and finished her schooling at Waikato Diocesan School for Girls. She began a Bachelor of Science at Otago University, before completing a Bachelor of Laws at Waikato University last year.
Couling is now in her final year of her Master of Laws. She also works as a trainee technician in microbiology and is a volunteer case worker at the Hamilton District Community Law Centre.
She says education is a key factor for strengthening a relationship between Māori and local government. Couling is interested in co-management of the Waikato River and hopes to one day work for the United Nations.
Applications for the 2010/11 Environment Waikato Dame Te Atairangikaahu Scholarship will be accepted until 31 March 2011. For more information, visit http://www.waikato.ac.nz/research/scholarships.