Four University of Waikato wāhine passionate about the taiao (environment) win Dame Te Atairangikaahu Scholarships.
The Hamilton-based students are this year’s winners of the awards co-funded by Waikato Regional Council and Waikato-Tainui.
They will receive scholarships worth between $2000 and $2500.
Lynley St George (21 from Ngāti Porou) is studying for a Bachelor of Science. She’s been involved in conservation work and is keen to use her science knowledge to create great environmental outcomes. “I believe that between a strong grasp of science and a connection to one’s culture, people can interact with their environment in a more positive and effective way.”
Bachelor of Environmental Planning student Nevada Huaki-Foote (20, Waikato/Ngāti Porou), is aiming for a career in Māori environmental planning. “I want to be able to apply a Māori environmental view to Aotearoa where the knowledge from my ancestors, alongside environmental planning can be incorporated into a modern business environment.”
Tekiteora Rolleston-Gabel (20, Ngāi Tuhoe/Ngāti Kahu/Ngāi Te Rangi), is taking on a double Bachelor of Arts and BSc. She has a deep appreciation of the Waikato environment and a strong desire to contribute to the community. “I am aspiring to develop a career in scientific research with a particular focus on its correlation to mātauranga Māori (traditional knowledge).”
Ngāpera Keegan (19, Waikato/Maniapoto) studying for a BSc wants to “apply methods to improve New Zealand’s environment as a whole and protect our native flora and fauna so that New Zealand’s beauty remains”.
Waikato-Tainui Te Arataura Chair Rukumoana Schaafhausen said the scholarships reflect tribal aspirations to invest in the education of rangatahi, care for the environment and work collaboratively with regional partners.
“We are so proud to have four wāhine take up the scholarship to pursue science and environmental studies. We will be watching their journey closely.”