Our students with scholarships

Meet some of our Māori and Pacific students who received scholarships and hear about their experiences.

Jadan Ofono Twyla Hekau – MAPAS MBChB Student

Jadan was a recipient of a Ko Awatea Health Scholarship (Counties Manukau District Health Board) (2013-2015).

“Fakaalofa lahi atu kia mutolu oti.
Ko e higoa haaku ko Jadan Ofono Hekau.”  

“For the Ko Awatea Scholarship, part of the interviewing process is a presentation on Pacific and/or Māori health topics selected by the scholarship committee. When I did this, the interviewing panel asked questions and also asked me to explain why I should be the recipient of this scholarship.

"This interview process was helpful as every year the topics are different and it's great to see the Scholarship Team and the panel on an annual basis.

"The Ko Awatea scholarship pays for my student fees and it's such a relief knowing they have been paid.

"As part of the scholarship I am required to do three Ko Awatea volunteer events and one Middlemore Foundation volunteer event each year, which I enjoy as they are great opportunities to get involved with different community groups and gain invaluable experience at each event.”

“My advice to those wanting to apply for scholarships is to start early on your applications and work hard to keep the scholarships you are granted!”

Eddie Hughes –MAPAS MBChB Student

Eddie was a recipient of a University of Auckland Scholarship and a NZQA Scholarship.

“Kia orana
Ko Eddie tōku ingoa
Ko Atiu tōku enua
Tō mātou 'Ōire ko
Areora te ingoa
Tō mātou pa'I taro ko Rangiriri te ingoa
Ko Ngāti Paerangi ē Ngāti Paruarangi tōku kōpu tangata.”

 “It's been a huge relief to go through university without a big bill for university fees hanging over my head each semester.

"It might seem like a lot of work to apply for scholarships but it’s more than worth it in the long run for the weight that it takes off your shoulders.

"Many Maori and Pacific students are humble about their achievements. It's a very admirable quality to have as a person but it can hold you back when applying for scholarships.

When you're writing a scholarship application your job is to convince whoever will read it that you're the best candidate. Don't ever sell yourself short or worry that you're making yourself sound better than you are.”

“Think of applying like it's a job. Writing for a few hours could get you several thousand dollars – that's a better wage than some millionaires get. So work hard and apply for everything you can.”

Scott Parekowhai- MAPAS BNurs/BHSc Conjoint Student

Scott was a recipient of the University of Auckland Chancellor’s Awards for Top Māori and Pacific Scholars (2015), a Hauora Māori Scholarship (2015) and a Waitemata District Health Board Scholarship (2015).

“Ko wai au?
Ko Hikurangi te maunga
Ko Kaitara te awa
Ko Horouta te waka
Ko Ngāti Porou te iwi
Ko Ngāti Whakarongo te hapū
Ko Kaitara te Marae
Ko Tū Whenua a Kura te wharenui
Ko Alison rāua
Ko David ōku mātua
Ko Kelly rātou ko Luke, ko Blake ōku tuākana
Kāti rā, ko Scott Parekowhai ahau
Tīhei Mauri Ora!”

“These scholarships have eased the financial burden of fees and the pressure to seek part-time work, allowing me to concentrate completely on my studies and achieving my goals.

"When I first applied it was time consuming, but once you have done one application you can reuse and adjust information to fit the structure of many scholarship applications.”

“The best advice I can give is to APPLY, APPLY and APPLY! Cast your net wide and you are bound to catch something. 

"Whāia te iti kahurangi ki te tūohu koe me he maunga teitei – Seek the treasure you value most dearly: if you bow your head, let it be to a lofty mountain.”

Opetaia Aati –MAPAS MBChB student

Opetaia was a recipient of the Aniva Scholarship.

“Malo le soifua. O lo’u igoa o Opetaia Aati.
O lo’u tama o Opetaia Aati.
O lo’u tina o Tile Aati.
Ou te sau mai le nu’u o Solosolo i Upolu ma le nu’u o Fagamalo mai le motu o Salafai.”

 "The MBChB is a six-year programme that is a confluence of medical studies and health sciences that eventually lead to clinical attachments.

"I chose to pursue this degree because it is closest thing to my ideal job – it marries my love of science with clinical situations.

"In addition, it allows me to be able to help Māori and Pacific peoples at a real level. I entered the MBChB programme as a graduate student, which means that I have already accumulated a sizeable student loan from my undergraduate studies.

"The Aniva Scholarship gives me great peace of mind knowing that I won’t be adding to this. The application wasn’t hard! It does take time to compile the documents, but it is well worth the time!” 

Catherine Latailakepa - BNurs/BHSc Graduate

Catherine Latailakepa MAPAS BNurs/BHSc Graduate and Tyla Tariau – MAPAS BNurs Graduate
Catherine Latailakepa MAPAS BNurs/BHSc Graduate and Tyla Tariau – MAPAS BNurs Graduate

Catherine was a recipient of a Suzanne Aubert Scholarship (2011), a Le Va Scholarship (2012), a Pacific Island Polynesian Education Foundation grant (2013) and a Medibank Community Fund’s Scholarship for New Zealand Pacific Nurses (2013-2015).

Talofa Lava
O lo’u igoa o Catherine Latailakepa
O lo’u tama o le ali’i mai Toga
O lo’u Tina o le Samoa.
Sa ou fanau i Palmerston North i le tausaga 1993.
E to’a fa ou uso, e to’a tasi lo’u tuagane
Sa ou aoga i le kolisi o Sacred Heart, Lower Hutt i Ueligitone.
‘I he ta’u ua afe taha taha na’aku kamata ako ai,
‘i he ‘Univesiti ‘o ‘Okalani ki he mata’i tohi ‘e ua koe Bachelor of Nursing moe Bachelor of Health Science.
‘I he ta’u ua afe ma taha taha neu ma’u ai foki ae Certificate
‘i he Health Science.
‘I he ta’u ni neu lava’i lelei ai ‘ae Bachelor of Nursing.
‘Oku ou ‘amanaki ke faka’osi
‘a hoku mata’itohi hono ua
‘i he Bachelor of Health Science
‘i Me ‘oe ua afe taha ono.
‘Oku ou fie fakamalo lahi
‘aupito ki he MediBank pehe foki ki he LeVa
‘i he ‘enau tokoni ‘o ‘omai ‘ae sikolasipi
‘i he ta’u ‘e tolu lolotonga ‘eku feinga ako. Na’e hoko ho’omou tokoni koe fakalotolahi moe poupou ki he feinga ako na’a ku fai.
‘Oku ou faka’amu pe ‘e kei hokohoko atu ‘a ‘enau tokoni
‘i he kaha’u.
Malo moe hufaki."

“These scholarships have helped my family and me tremendously! In particular the MediBank Nursing Scholarship I am currently on has paid for my travel expenses to and from University, textbooks for my papers and paid for a 10 week work placement.

"It’s an awesome scholarship that covers your whole nursing degree.”

“Applying for these scholarships wasn’t hard at all! You just have to look for them. Don’t be afraid to apply! Believe in yourself and there are plenty of scholarships out there waiting for you to apply!

Catherine was a recipient of a Suzanne Aubert Scholarship (2011), a Le Va Scholarship (2012), a Pacific Island Polynesian Education Foundation grant (2013) and a Medibank Community Fund’s Scholarship for New Zealand Pacific Nurses (2013-2015).

Tyla Tariau – Bachelor of Nursing graduate

Tyla was a recipient of a Medibank Community Fund’s Scholarship for New Zealand Pacific Nurses (2013-2015).

“Ko Tyla Tariau toku ingoa.
Toku Papa anau no te Kuki Airani mai.
Tona Papa uaanga no Nake e Roto, Pukapuka.
Tona Mama uaanga no Titikaveka, Rarotonga e Vaipae, Aitutaki, Kuki Airani.”

“This scholarship has helped me in so many different ways. They have paid for all my course fees for the last 3 years, I have a travel allowance for each semester, they have paid for my textbooks and other extra nursing expenditures such as indemnity insurance, my  stethoscope, my nursing uniform and my state examination fee.

"I am eternally grateful for their investment and support of my nursing; not only have they given me the best start possible as an undergraduate nursing student but they have given me the best possible start as I begin my next journey as a registered nurse.”

 “After filling out lots of scholarship applications during my last year of High school and not receiving any, I almost lost hope and was about to give up. Thankfully I didn’t. I would encourage everybody to keep persevering and to never lose hope.

"There are plenty of organisations outside University that want to invest in your future. All you need to do is look around and dedicate the time to apply. You’re uncertainty on the likelihood of getting a scholarship, along with the hard work and time you put into your application, will soon be forgotten when you get the call telling you that you are one of their chosen recipients!”

Laine Marsh – MAPAS Medical Graduate

Portrait of scholarship recipient Laine Marsh.

Laine was a recipient of a Henry Rongomau Bennett Scholarship for Māori Leadership in Health (2011-2015), a Northland DHB, Pihirau Te Tai Tokerau Hauora Māori Scholarship (2011, 2013), a Hauora Māori Scholarship (2012, 2014, 2015), a Rose Hellaby Bursaries Scholarship (2013), and a Ministry of Health Excellence Award: John McLeod Scholarship (2014).

“Ka noho nei au, ka titiro, ka whakarongo ki nga tai e pari ana ki Manaia.
Ka titiro atu ra ki Taumatamahoe, ki Muriwhenua.
He uri tenei o nga iwi o Ngapuhi, Te Rarawa me Ngati Wai.”

“Returning to study medicine was a big decision for my whanau, particularly as it meant moving to a single income which had a significant financial impact.

"Medicine is a challenging degree, not only in length of time, but also in terms of the volume of work. It is important to have drive, determination, and great whānau support. Receiving these scholarships went a long way towards relieving some of the financial strain on me and my whānau."

“Applying for scholarships can take some work in terms of organising your documents and writing responses to questions; but this isn't difficult.

"I would just advise applying early to ensure you've given yourself time to get appropriate documents and references. You should also apply for everything, you can only try and you may just be successful!”

Coralie Takuira – MAPAS Medical Graduate

Coralie Takuira – MAPAS Medical Graduate and Hemi Enright –MBChB student
Coralie Takuira – MAPAS Medical Graduate and Hemi Enright –MBChB student

Coralie was a recipient of the Ngārimu VC and the 28th Māori Battalion Memorial Scholarship (2015 & 2016), a Tarutaru me Ruapounamu Award (Te Rarawa 2015 & 2016), a Dr John McLeod Scholarship - Future Māori Health Leaders (2013), a Pihirau Hauora Māori Scholarship (2013), a Rose Hellaby Bursary - Leadership (2012) and a Ngāpuhi Bursary - Contributing to the betterment of future generations (2012).

“Nō Panguru ahau i te taha o tōku PāpāKo Panguru te maunga
Ko Hokianga te moana
Ko Ngātokimatawhaorua te waka
Ko Tiapakeke te tupuna
Ko Ngāti Manawa te hapū
Ko Whakarapa te kāinga
Ko Te Rarawa me Ngāpuhi ngā iwi
Ko Coralie Takuira ahau.” 

“Finances are a huge stressor in medicine when you do not have other means of financial support. I literally would not have been able to complete medicine without these scholarships. During practical placements we are working for free every day of the week. This meant that I had to work on the weekends, which became very difficult with assignments.

"These scholarships relieved so much of this burden by contributing towards food and rent. So instead of neglecting assignments by needing to work for money, I could concentrate on medicine and spend more time studying to become a competent doctor.”

Hemi Enright – MBChB student

Hemi was a recipient of the Ngārimu Victoria Cross and the 28th Maori Battalion Memorial Scholarship (2015), a Hauora Māori Scholarship: Medicine (2015), Te Rūnanga-Ā-Iwi-O-Ngā Puhi Scholarship Award (2014) and the University of Auckland Chancellors Award for Top Māori and Pacific Scholars (2011).

“Ko Whakatere tōku Maunga
Ko Waima tōku awa
Ko Ngā Puhi rāua ko Ngāti Ruanui ōku iwi
Ko Ngāti Hau rāua ko Ngāti Kaharau ōku hapū
Ko Ōtātara rāua ko Tuhirangi ōku marae.
Ko Hemi ahau.”

“These scholarships have helped me with the financial pressures of University. They have supported me with my studies over the last four years and allowed me to focus on my studies without the stress of constantly worrying about finances.”

“I found the application process challenging but, well worth it. In some cases you may need referees so make sure you leave plenty of time to write up each application. Many scholarships do not get enough or any applicants so make sure you apply! Although there is a lot of time and effort required the end goal is well worth it.”

Find out more

Contact your MAPAS adviser today to find out more about scholarships and how scholarships can assist you in achieving your goals and your future.

You can find out which ones you may be eligible for and how to apply.