Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu Scholarship
- Bachelor of Business
Kimihia Solomon-Banks (Waikato-Tainui), 24, is on a roll.
The former Hillcrest High School student is enjoying her second year of study at Waikato Management School, succeeding both academically and socially.
“You can get into it more; you know your way around,” she says.
In September 2022, Kimihia was one of seven undergraduate students awarded the Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu Scholarship, which was established in 1991 to mark the 25th anniversary of the accession of the late Māori Queen.
The scholarships were awarded by the Waikato Regional Council and Waikato-Tainui on Kīngitanga Day at the University.
Recipients were assessed on academic merit, commitment to continue their studies, and the applicants’ potential, particularly for applicants at first- and second-year levels.
“I’ve always been better at numbers,” says Kimi, whose favourite paper this year was Understanding the Global Economy (ECONS200).
Her degree also gives her the flexibility to try other papers outside her major, exploring her Māori heritage.
“This year I did a Mana Wahine paper (MAORI200), which was really interesting,” says Kimi.
The paper examines foundational aspects of mana wahine scholarship, the impact of colonisation on Māori and Indigenous women, and the resistant spaces negotiated by Māori women including their contributions to decolonisation.
The Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu Scholarships are awarded to people who have whakapapa or a family connection to land within the Waikato Regional Council boundaries, which are largely aligned with the ancestral lands of Tainui waka.
They also had to be enrolled in full-time undergraduate study at the University, and be a New Zealand citizen or resident of Māori descent. A connection of taiao (the environment) and Kīngitanga were also a key part of the scholarship.
Kimi says she chose Waikato University because it was local, had a business school with a good reputation, and had a diverse student population and lots of support for Māori students.
She encourages other Māori students to come to the University of Waikato.
“Just do it,” says Kimi. “A lot of us don’t think we are capable, but there is a lot of support [at Waikato], and people here who will help you to succeed.”