Waikato students win inaugural Kupe scholarships

SND20-wk4-ScholarshipsSeven Māori and Pacifika student teachers from the University of Waikato were awarded Kupe Scholarships by Education Minister Hekia Parata last week.

The Kupe Scholarship attracts young, highly talented Māori and Pacifika to the teaching profession and helps them become inspiring teachers and role models of success in early childhood, primary and secondary education.

With only 30 scholarships offered, the scholarship is awarded to students with strong academic success who want to become teachers.

Mitchell Zandstra is currently studying towards a Graduate Diploma in Secondary Teaching.

“The Kupe Scholarship was a huge honour to receive on behalf of myself and my family. It has been my intention and motivation for a long time to help increase Māori and Pasifika achievement within secondary school education. This scholarship supports and helps me strive towards these education goals. Being a physical education and health teacher, I believe I can make a difference in students lives and guide them in their academic journey,” Mr Zandstra says. 

Ivan Kana says to be recognised as a teacher in training for a career he is passionate about is amazing. “This scholarship has definitely enhanced and supported my development in becoming the best teacher I can be. With my education and scholarship I hope to motivate and teach people of all ages, genders and ethnicities. I am very passionate about supporting others to succeed and be recognised positively and this scholarship has opened new doors and created networks that will undoubtedly support me in the future.”

Viani Ward says the Kupe Scholarship is a blessing.
“I’m am really grateful to be a recipient of this prestigious award. I look forward to teaching and sharing my knowledge with our tamariki. I hope to be an accounting and business teacher. My future goal is to keep learning te reo and add that to my teaching portfolio.”

The scholarship funds course fees, study allowances and offers professional mentoring and recruitment support after graduation.

As recognition of their achievement the recipients received taonga keepsakes in the form of a stylised paddle ‘hoe’ or waka / vaka / va’a.

  • Maori Scholars:
  • Lelian Naera – Grad Dip Teaching (Primary)
  • Ivan Kana – Grad Dip Teaching (Secondary)
  • Angelo Morehu – Master of Teaching and Learning
  • Levon Dennison – Grad Dip Teaching (Secondary)
  • Vianni Ward – Grad Dip Teaching (Secondary)
  • Pacifika Scholars:
  • Stephen Moli – Grad Dip Teaching (Primary)
  • Mitchell Zandstra – Grad Dip Teaching (Secondary)


Rosie Clarke

Rosie is the managing editor here at Multimedia Pty Ltd, working across School News New Zealand and School News Australia. She has spent 10+ years in B2B journalism, and has spent some time over the last couple of years teaching as a sessional academic. Feel free to contact her at any time with editorial or magazine content enquiries.
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