Dr Hare Puke Scholarship recipients to further leadership skills through study

Dion Ormsby and Karen Bishop-Puhi stand in front of the tomokanga at Te Kōpū Mānia o Kirikiriroa Marae at Wintec

Dion Ormsby (left) and Karen Bishop-Puhi (right) will use the Dr Hare Puke Scholarship award to fund further study to enhance their leadership and management skills.

Wintec’s prestigious Dr Hare Puke Māori Leadership Scholarship was awarded to two deserving recipients late last year.

Karen Bishop-Puhi (Waikato, Ngāti Maniapoto, Hauraki, Ngāti Hikairo, Ngāti Whakaue, Te Rarawa, Ngāti Pūkenga) and Dion Ormsby (Tainui, Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāti Hikairo) were jointly awarded the scholarship, with strong applications that highlighted their contributions to their communities and their desires to continue to grow as leaders in their whānau, hapū and iwi spaces.

The scholarship was established in 2008 as a way for Māori staff to continue the legacy of Wintec’s late kaumātua Dr Hare Puke. With a combined value of $15,000, the award enables staff to focus on furthering their leadership and management skills.

Wiremu Puke, Dr Hare Puke’s son, announced the scholarship winners at Wintec’s annual Ngā Tohu Whakaihuwaka | Wintec Staff Awards in December last year.

Karen Bishop-Puhi, an early childhood education teacher from Kāwhia now working at the Wintec Centre for Education and Foundation Pathways will use the scholarship to complete a Master of Māori and Indigenous Leadership delivered by the University of Canterbury in Rotorua.

Her programme of study will focus on the ongoing development of Te Paetahi Akoranga Bachelor of Teaching (ECE) at Wintec that Bishop-Puhi teaches on.  This newly accredited degree was written in consultation with Waikato-Tainui to better serve mana whenua and their goals and aspirations.

“Māori lecturers in this field are difficult to find,” she says. “One of the main aims of the degree is to provide increased understanding of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the bicultural and bilingual whakapapa of Te Whāriki, the national ECE curriculum.”

“I would like to undertake a research project that will support and journey alongside our first intake of tauira, right through to the point of achieving their teacher registration and on to being mentor teachers themselves,” she says.

She is an active leader not only in her mahi/work at Wintec but also with her hapū and iwi, something she said, “laid the foundation for [her] leadership development.”

Dion Ormsby, Kaitūruki, Regional Delivery – Mana Whenua, at Wintec will use the scholarship to enhance his knowledge of indigenous strategic planning, business and leadership through study.

“I became a father at a young age and since then have been working to ensure my daughter has a good start in life,” he says.

“Now she is older, I feel I can take some time for myself, and I see this scholarship as an opportunity to develop myself both at a personal and professional level. Education is critical to personal and professional development. It is an opportunity to learn alternative approaches, test your own theories, and expand knowledge on matters concerning indigeneity, strategy and business.”

Ormsby, like Bishop-Puhi, was raised on his marae, Rākaunui in Kāwhia moana. As a child, he observed the practice of tikanga and kawa on the marae and was taught te reo and the art of whaikōrero displayed by his elders — something he continues to this day.

The commitment to his people has led him over the years to being heavily involved in hapū, iwi and marae life, delivering wānanga in and around Kāwhia, Waikato and Maniapoto, including delivering te reo literacy and numeracy programmes at Waikeria prison.

“The qualities and attributes of a leader are shown through one’s ability to act with humility. The ability to listen actively without judgement,” he says.

TeUrikore Biddle, Pouārahi Māori - Executive Director Māori, Wintec, was impressed with the high calibre of applications and is looking forward to seeing Bishop-Puhi and Ormsby grow within their fields.

“I am happy to see two of our staff awarded the scholarship, the panel were pleased with the quality of the applications and acknowledged that both candidates are seen faces within their community and committed to sharing in the reward of their learning with those communities,” she says.

Read more:

How a traditional Māori kite is giving flight to an early childhood degree
Wintec implements change programme to lift outcomes for Māori and all learners
Dr Hare Puke Scholarship winners advance Māori leadership in tertiary education

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