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Ngārimu VC and 28th (Māori) Battalion Memorial Scholarships

By Ngārimu VC and 28th (Māori) Battalion Memorial Scholarship Fund Board

These prestigious scholarships commemorate the service of Second Lieutenant Te-Moana-Nui-a-Kiwa Ngārimu VC and the 28th (Māori) Battalion in World War II.

The scholarships have a long history of recognising Māori who demonstrate adaptability, intelligence, perseverance, mana and leadership in their iwi and communities. 

About the scholarships

Five scholarships are available:

  • three undergraduate awards - $10,000.00 each per year of full time study, for up to five years;
  • one masters award - $15,000.00 per year of full time study, for up to two years;
  • one doctoral scholarship - $25,000.00 per year of full time study, for up to two years. The Doctoral scholarship is to support doctoral candidates through the final 24 months of study.

The Ngārimu VC and 28th (Māori) Battalion Memorial Scholarship Fund Board look for applicants who meet the criteria and possess characteristics that are considered consistent with those of the 28th (Māori) Battalion. Applications for scholarships for the 2014/2015 academic year have now closed and scholarship recipients will be announced in December 2014.

Scholarships awarded in honour of Māori Battalion

Education Minister Hekia Parata has announced the recipients of a prestigious tertiary scholarship awarded annually in honour of the 28th (Māori) Battalion.

“The five recipients demonstrate education excellence as well as service, commitment and community contribution. The same characteristics that earned the Battalion an honoured place in New Zealand’s history” says Ms Parata, who chairs the Ngārimu VC and 28th (Māori) Battalion Memorial Scholarship Fund Board.

Since 1948, the Board has supported Māori achievers to succeed in education and to contribute as leaders both at home and overseas.

The scholarships recognise the exciting futures these five exceptional students have, but receiving one is a solemn honour says Ms Parata.

“The young men this scholarship commemorates, and their families, paid a high price during World War Two and the years after. That should never be taken lightly or forgotten”.

Tahlia Kingi (Te Arawa, Te Aitanga-a-Hauiti) has been awarded the doctoral scholarship worth $25,000 a year for up to two years. Thalia is researching self-injury among young Māori and the support role of whānau and community. She will complete her qualification in 2016.

Te Rerekohu Tuterangiwhiu (Ngāpuhi, Taranaki, Ngāti Ranginui, Tainui) receives the masters scholarship worth $15,000 per year for up to two years. His research focuses on sustainable management of native pāua stocks. Te Rerekohu has a bachelor’s degree in mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge).

The three undergraduate scholars are Hine Kawana (Rangitane, Raukawa, Te Arawa, Ngā Waiariki, Te Ati-hau-nui-a-Papārangi) who starts her Bachelor of Arts this year; Coralie Dargaville (Ngāpuhi, Te Rarawa) and James Enright (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Ruanui) who are both studying towards a Bachelors of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery. Each undergraduate scholarship is valued at $10,000 per year for up to five years.

All recipients will be recognised at an awards ceremony in April 2015.

Applications for the 2015/16 tertiary scholarship round will open on 1 July 2015 and close in September. Information will be available on the Ministry of Education website. 


In 1939, when New Zealand joined forces with the allies, Māori men and women volunteered and made a significant contribution in all areas of the defence forces and home services. Notable among them were the recruits who formed the 28th (Māori) Battalion. They fought with distinction in many engagements and perhaps the soldier whose deeds are best known among Māori is Second Lieutenant Te-Moana-nui-a-Kiwa Ngārimu, whose heroism and ultimate sacrifice were acknowledged by the highest military award the British Commonwealth could bestow: the Victoria Cross.

In June 1943, soon after Ngārimu had been killed in action, a gathering of Ngāti Porou, Te Whānau ā Apanui and Pākehā East Coast people took place to consider how to best commemorate the bravery of Ngārimu, and the other members of the 28th Battalion, whose lives had been lost in World War Two. It was decided to establish a scholarship fund to support Māori education. The Ngārimu VC and 28th (Māori) Battalion Scholarship Fund Board was established for the purposes of administering funds that promoted Māori education.

Originally the Board considered the most urgent priority was to encourage Māori pupils at secondary school level and scholarships were awarded annually to pupils in Form II. However since 1971 the Board's focus has been at the tertiary level with academic merit being a high priority in the selection.

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