Māori staff and student scholarship winners aim to lead and inspire in their communities

Dame Te Ata List Image

Puhi Ariki Ngāwaihonoitepō (left) presents a Dame Te Atairangikaahu Nursing Scholarship to recipient Jahna Tangiora (right). Image: Mark Hamilton. 

At a particularly special ceremony last Friday, the winners of the Dame Te Atairangikaahu Scholarship and the Dr Hare Puke Scholarship at Wintec were recognised at Te Kōpū Mānia o Kirikiriroa Marae. In attendance was the daughter of Kiingi Tūheitia Pōtatau Te Wherowhero Te Tuawhitu, Puhi Ariki Ngāwaihonoitepō, who presented the awards, and Kiingitanga kaumātua.  

Jahna Tangiora (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Porou, Waikato-Maniapoto), Taylar Tuhakaraina (Ngāti Hauā, Te Atihaunui a Pāpā Rangi) and Hina Pokaia (Waikato-Tainui, Ngāti Mahuta, Ngāti Māhanga), were the three recipients of the award this year.  

The Dame Te Atairangikaahu Scholarship is in its 13th year. It was initiated to give opportunities to Māori in the Waikato-Tainui region to pursue study in midwifery and nursing, to address a serious lack of Māori perspective and representation in the health sector.  

At the ceremony, Hera White, Executive Director Māori at Wintec, announced that in 2021, the number of scholarships available will increase to seven, to show that Wintec are committed to lifting Māori in all areas of healthcare offered by Wintec’s health programmes. 

“It is a real honour that Wintec has these prestigious scholarships named after such great past leaders of Aotearoa. We are thrilled with the opportunity to offer more scholarships for future students in honour of Dame Te  Atairangikaahu.” 

Recipient Jahna Tangiora, an Enrolled Nursing student at Wintec who also works at Te Kōhao Health, the largest Māori health provider in Hamilton, was tearful as she spoke about how much the scholarship means to her. 

“This journey hasn’t been easy. As a solo māmā, it’s hard. But I’m doing this for my children and my tūpuna. My children keep my fighting the good fight. 

“I’m pursuing my dream of making medicine more understandable for whānau who might not get the medical terminology doctor’s use. I want to make that experience for them simple, and easier.” 

For Taylar Tuhakaraina, a second year Bachelor of Nursing student, says this scholarship will help her achieve her goals of providing healthcare for the wider Māori community. 

“The skills and knowledge I gain from this course will enable me to provide and advocate for our Māori community, ensuring that they receive equitable care and have access to the resources and services that will better their health and wellbeing.” 

In a similar vein, Hina Pokaia, a Bachelor of Nursing student in her third year, says that a career in health with “provide ongoing opportunities to maintain and improve quality nursing care that is beneficial for the Māori community.” 

Upon receiving her award, Hina said that “nursing has helped me turn on a small light in a dark room.” She is looking forward to a new role at Waikato Hospital next year where she will “pursue [her] adventurous and abundant career.” 

The two winners of the Hare Puke Māori Leadership Scholarship 2020, Tania Oxenham (Ngāpuhi, Waikato-Taniui, Ngāti Pikiao), and Priscilla Davis-Ngātai (Ngāti Hine, Ngāpuhi, Rongomaiwahine, Ngāti Kahungunu) were also recognised at the ceremony. 

Oxenham will be using her scholarship to develop an online preparation study skills course to help Māori and Pasifika learners prepare for tertiary study. She will also be furthering her research and development of the Tuakana-Teina mentoring programme at Wintec. 

Davis-Ngatai will use the scholarship to continue her training and development in Māori governance and leadership and aims to produce a guideline for establishing a student-focused Māori leadership programme at Wintec. 

The Dr Hare Puke Scholarship was established in 2008 for Māori staff at Wintec to gain further leadership and management skills. It was named in honour of late kaumātua Dr Hare Puke.  

About the Dame Te Atairangikaahu Scholarship 

The Dame Te Ātairangikaahu Scholarship was set up in recognition of Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu’s great leadership and care for the welfare of her people, and to acknowledge Kingi Tūheitia’s reign as Māori King. 

The scholarship aims to encourage more Māori into health. The Dame Te Atairangikaahu Scholarship is offered to Waikato-Tainui students to undertake full-time study at any level, in one of the following Wintec qualifications: Diploma of Enrolled NursingBachelor of NursingBachelor of MidwiferyPostgraduate Diploma in NursingMaster of Nursing

Recipients of the scholarship receive financial support for up to three years to assist with their study fees. 

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