Dr Hare Puke Māori Leadership Scholarship awarded

Dr Hare Puke Māori Leadership Scholarship awarded to Wintec staff members Maria Ranga and Allanah Ashwell

This year Wintec’s prestigious Dr Hare Puke Māori Leadership Scholarship has been awarded to not one, but two worthy recipients - Wintec staff members Maria Ranga and Allanah Ashwell.

Both have made invaluable contributions to Wintec’s Māori community – Maria through her tireless work as a student counsellor and Allanah through her dedication to teaching and curriculum development.

As Wintec’s Māori counsellor, Maria provides students with support and advice, helping students to successfully complete their studies. Despite what her job title suggests, she provides support services to students of all nationalities, ethnicities and cultures.

Prior to taking on this pivotal role, which she has enjoyed for 13 years now, Maria studied and taught Wintec’s Bachelor of Applied Social Science (Te Whiuwhiu o te Hau Māori Counselling).

Maria says she is excited to be a recipient of the Dr Hare Puke Māori Leadership Scholarship:

“I knew Hare Puke as a very wise, proud, noble and highly educated man so to receive a scholarship in his name is an honour.”

Maria will use the scholarship to help her postgraduate research which will explore and identify different methods of healing for Māori women who have been sexually abused.

“Sadly, Māori have the highest statistics of sexual abuse, as both the victims and the perpetrators, in the OECD (made up of 35 of the world’s most advanced countries). My counselling experiences have shown that counselling alone is insufficient to address the needs of Māori women who have been impacted by sexual abuse and an approach centred on Māori women needs to be developed. I would like my research to help the campaign to stop sexual abuse within whanau, hapū and iwi,” says Maria, who is of Waikato-Tainui descent.

Fellow recipient Allanah Ashwell has worked in Wintec’s Centre for Health and Social Practice for three years. In her role she supports Māori curriculum development and implementation as well as teaching te reo Māori me ōna tikanga within the centre’s social practice programmes.

“I feel incredibly humbled to receive an award that honours the memory and immeasurable contribution of Matua Hare Puke to Te Kuratini o Waikato and Waikato whānui,” says Allanah.

Allanah is still finalising the scope of her postgraduate research but says she hopes to contribute to current literature surrounding applications of mātauranga Māori within the hauora (Māori philosophy of health and well-being) space. 

“I would love my research to increase awareness and access to traditional Māori perspectives and tools that can be used to assist hauora (or wellness). I would love to add value to the experiences of Māori students studying within the centre, by developing and implementing meaningful and culturally-responsive content within our programmes,” says Allanah who is of Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Awa, Ngāti Pūkeko and Kāti Mamoe descent.

Wintec established the Hare Puke Māori Leadership Scholarship in 2008 to recognise and honour its late kaumātua, Dr Hare Puke. Its goal is to enable Māori staff to gain further leadership and management skills.

The scholarship has a value of $15,000 per year and one additional week of professional development leave.

Image: Wintec staff members Maria Ranga and Allanah Ashwell.