A third year student majoring in archaeology and Te Reo Māori has been announced as the first recipient of a NZ Transport Agency and Waikato-Tainui scholarship.
The Heritage Protection Scholarship, established at the start of the Huntly Section of the Waikato Expressway, was launched to symbolise the relationship between the Transport Agency and Waikato-Tainui and is for tribal members studying archaeology and heritage assessment and planning at a tertiary level.
The scholarship recognises the importance of archaeological work in Transport Agency projects and the importance of education for Waikato-Tainui descendants.
The first recipient to benefit from the scholarship is Waitu Ripaki-Tamatea, from the Ngāti Korokī Kahukura hapu.
Miss Ripaki-Tamatea is in her 3rd year of a 5-year Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Arts Conjoint Degree at Auckland University. She is majoring in Anthropological Science (Archaeology) and Te Reo Māori, including Māori studies. Her elective papers are Biological Science, Earth Science, Sports Science and Statistics.
“As a little kid I was always interested in Greek and Roman mythologies, my parents noticed this and suggested I look at studying anthropology,” she says.
“When I was at high school I did some work experience with an archaeologist on one of the major local bypasses and it was then that I decided that was what I wanted to do.”
The Transport Agency’s Waikato and Bay of Plenty Regional Director and former Waikato-Tainui Chief Executive, Parekawhia McLean, says the Transport Agency is proud to support tribal members to achieve their educational goals.
“The scholarship is an ideal opportunity for students to increase their knowledge and enable them to take an active role in the future planning of projects like the Waikato Expressway.”
Miss Ripaki-Tamatea will receive $5,000 towards her study for 2016. She intends to undertake some work on archaeological sites in the Cook Islands after graduation.
The heritage scholarship is administered by the Waikato Raupatu Lands Trust, an entity of Waikato-Tainui that manages and distributes grants and scholarships to support educational aspirations of tribal members.