Triple scholarship success for Gisborne teenager to study law in Tauranga

27 February 2020

Gisborne-born Britney Moore is studying Law at the University of Waikato's Tauranga campus.

It’s been a week of ‘firsts’ for new University of Waikato law student, Britney Moore.

She moved cities, settled into her first flat, experienced her first Orientation Week and is preparing for her first class at Waikato’s new Tauranga campus.

Britney, of Ngāti Porou and Te Aitanga-A-Māhaki descent, was born and raised in Gisborne by her single mum and is the first in her family to attend university. She credits her mum, Megan, for instilling the importance of education, despite not finishing high school herself.

“Mum is my greatest supporter and has always pushed me to go to uni because she never did,” says Britney.

While she’d already made her mind up to attend the University of Waikato, Britney says it was a dream come true when she found out she’d been awarded three scholarships, worth a total of $12,000, to help her on her way. “I still can’t get my head around it,” says Britney. “I’m beyond words… I haven’t ever had something this good happen to me.”

Britney is the first recipient of the Acorn Foundation Beverly Perszyk Scholarship, and received a Tauranga Campus First-in-Family Scholarship from the Tauranga Tertiary Campus Charitable Trust (TTCCT), plus a Mayfair Court University of Waikato Residential Scholarship which will cover most of her first-year accommodation costs.

Britney received a Tauranga Campus First-in-Family Scholarship donated by TTCCT and presented to her by Tauranga lawyer and TECT chairman, Bill Holland.

Last Thursday (20 February), Britney attended her first formal event at the university when she joined twenty other Waikato students to receive scholarships generously donated by the Tauranga Tertiary Campus Charitable Trust (TTCCT) and Acorn Foundation. She was thrilled to have her mum and younger sister Grace by her side, especially since it was touch and go whether the trio would make it to the event at all.

Megan had already taken time off work to help her daughter move cities - taking more time off work and adding extra motel costs wasn’t feasible. Megan says the University went above and beyond to find a solution.

“When Waikato staff found out that Britney would miss the prizegiving, they arranged for me and Grace to stay in a Mayfair Court apartment next door to Britney’s at no cost. Having that extra time with my girl and getting to celebrate her scholarship success are memories that will stay with me, especially when I’m back in Gisborne missing her!”

Emotions ran high at the scholarship presentation when Britney met Associate Professor Ken Perszyk, Academic Director of the Tauranga campus, who set up the Beverly Perszyk Scholarship in honour of his late mother.

“It was incredible meeting Dr Perszyk and hearing that his mother, like mine, went straight into work from high school but was passionate about the importance of tertiary education. I’m very grateful to be the first Waikato student in Tauranga to benefit from this scholarship.”

Inaugural recipient of the Acorn Foundation Beverly Perszyk Scholarship, Britney Moore pictured with Academic Director of Waikato's Tauranga campus, Dr Ken Perszyk.

The former Gisborne Girls’ High School student says her choice to pursue a study path in law was influenced by teachers who encouraged her to aim high. While she didn’t get involved in extra-curricular activities like some of her peers, Britney’s part-time job at the local fish and chips shop didn’t just help out with the family finances but became the catalyst for her to work towards a career in family law.

“I’ve seen first-hand women and children come in with cuts and bruises, clearly victims of abuse, and while it was heart-breaking it lit a spark for me to want to help make a change in the lives of innocent people and give them a voice,” says Britney.

Britney chose the University of Waikato to study law following a visit to another university.

“I didn’t find the other uni particularly friendly or welcoming so I begged mum to take me to Waikato’s Open Day to check out my options.” Blown-away by the welcoming vibe of the new campus and the friendly staff, Britney says a meeting with law tutor Mary-Rose Russell sealed the deal.

“She was so informative, easy to relate to, and really opened my eyes to the many avenues you can take with law and the opportunities they can lead to. The smaller class sizes and one-on-one time with tutors sold me on the Tauranga campus and mum was happy that it’s an easier drive from Gisborne so she can visit more often.”

Now Britney is ready to focus her attention on her studies that kick off next week.

I am determined to succeed in gaining a university qualification and be a role model for my younger sister, my whānau and other young people in Gisborne.

“My goal is to one day be able to give back to my community and stand proud as a young Māori woman and future New Zealand lawyer.”

Key funders of the campus development, Tauranga City Council, Bay of Plenty Regional Council and TECT supported the Tauranga Tertiary Campus Charitable Trust to fund three scholarships ranging in value from $1,000 to $23,000 per year, for students to study at the University of Waikato in Tauranga. The Acorn Foundation work with generous donors in the Western Bay of Plenty region to provide scholarships that support Tauranga students. Check the scholarships finder on the University of Waikato website for more details of the next round of Tauranga campus scholarships.

Latest stories

Related stories

Tauranga scholarships provide a pathway to tertiary study

Two scholarships on offer at the University of Waikato are helping to make tertiary study…

Prime Minister’s Scholarship students getting ready to fly

While most of us are winding down to a relaxing holiday season, a number of…

Ngareta Timutimu awarded prestigious University Medal

The University of Waikato has awarded its prestigious University Medal to Ngareta Timutimu (MNZM) recognising…

New Tauranga scholarships look to the future

Two new scholarships for first year engineering and environmental science students in Tauranga aim to…

Rutherford Discovery Fellowship to understand why Earth is habitable

The goal of understanding the deep history of carbon cycling on Earth and how -…

Strategic moooves: Management students advise Fonterra in 50th WMS Case Competition

The iconic 50th Waikato Management School Case Competition held on 19 October saw four finalist…

Joel, Kyle and Akshay

University of Waikato students gain work experience and solve sustainability problems through Impact Lab

Year three students shared their findings at an Impact Lab presentation event this week, as…

NZ police need better training in privacy and human rights law – here is what should happen

The New Zealand Police were recently found to have been routinely and illegally photographing young…

Vladimir Putin

Putin plays the annexation card, pushing the war in Ukraine into a dangerous new phase

A lot has changed since world leaders last met in person at the United Nations…

University of Waikato hosts inaugural Donor Day in Tauranga

The University of Waikato Foundation – Te Pou Taunaki held its inaugural Donor Day at…

Seven scholarships announced on Kīngitanga Day support rangatahi and the environment

Seven University of Waikato undergraduate students have been awarded the Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu…

Do you believe in luck?

New research reveals culture plays a major part in whether people believe in luck and…