Walk in the footsteps of our tupuna, become a Kaitiaki of our legacy.

Our scholarships are designed to build our leadership, connecting talented people to our rich cultural heritage and legacy.

We support a range of disciplines, with preference for studies related to our business such as law, accounting and marketing. Studies in the applied sciences of viticulture, aquaculture and horticulture are a priority. Whenua is at the core of our legacy, and careers in property are critical to our future development. 

How Wakatū scholarships work

Each scholarship provides the successful applicant with financial support for fees and books, up to a maximum of three years. There are also bonus opportunities for studying Te Reo Māori and achieving academic merit. Study can be in New Zealand or overseas but must be through a recognised tertiary provider.

 Who can apply

Applicants must be Wakatū shareholders or descendants of Wakatū shareholders and demonstrate a strong desire to get qualified. To apply for a Wakatū scholarship please complete the online application from which a shortlist and interviews will be carried out.

Tertiary Education Scholarship online application form

 Applications for 2019 are now open. Closing date Wednesday 31 October 2018.

Past recipients

The programme has been supporting Wakatū whanau since 2000 – we are enormously proud of what they have achieved.

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Megan Hancock

Ngāti Rārua

Bachelor of Laws(Hons) and Bachelor of Business Analysis

I am currently in my fourth and final year studying a conjoint degree in Bachelor of Laws(Hons) and Bachelor of Business Analysis. In November this year I am starting a summer internship with Kahui Legal, a Māori legal firm who expertise in legal issues that affect Māori and the interface between Iwi, Māori organisations and the Crown in areas such as the Treaty of Waitangi, natural resources and commercial law.

Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi, engari, he toa takitini – Success is not the work of one, but the work of many.” It is important that Māori thrive to succeed as individuals, but also thrive to succeed, grow and develop as a rōpū. Being a part of Te Hunga Pānuku is a prime example of this. We are a collective of growing and inspiring leaders for the future of Wakatū Incorporation. Not only has the Wakatū education scholarship supported me financially, it has supported me by ensuring that I stay connected with my cultural identity, whakapapa and tikanga. If you’re looking for a strong support system, I would highly recommend applying for any education scholarships or programmes that Wakatū has on offer.

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Anaru Adams

Te Ati Awa

Bachelor of Law/Bachelor of Social Science

I am studying towards a Bachelor of Law and Bachelor of Social Science at the University of Waikato and I’m in my final year. I work part time at Oranga Tamariki –Ministry for Children as a Resource Assistant.

My scholarship from Wakatū Incorporation supported me in being able to have all the resources needed to complete my studies. I would encourage everyone to engage and participate in the opportunities provided by Wakatū and become involved with Te Hunga Pānuku. These opportunities will build your networks and unlock future options and also allow to connect with our whānau and our whenua.

If you are looking at studying law, I would encourage you to start reading for your own pleasure. Law involves a lot of reading so get used to it now and also take pleasure from reading for your own benefit and not only for study.

Finally, if you are serious about studying law, understand that you don’t have go down the traditional route and practice law and become a lawyer. A law degree can just be the key to unlock areas of work that you never knew about.

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Shannel Kelly

Ngāti Koata

Bachelor of Commerce, Chartered Accountants programme

I believe learning never ends and we should strive to further our knowledge in whatever area we are passionate about. I recently completed my Chartered Accountants Program and I am now a chartered accountant at Crowe Horwath, where I have worked for the past three years.

The Wakatū scholarship means so much more than the financial benefit it provides, it's about being a part of something greater.  The wider whānau of Te Hunga Pānuku is not only a way to tautoko each other but to connect and combine our skills for the betterment of our whānau.

Thanks to the strength of our tūpuna we have the ability to steer the waka in any direction we choose and be the architects of our own future. Our tūpuna would be so proud to see how we have come together as a whānau and as kaitiaki.

As an accountant I want to further the development of our people through financial literacy and igniting entrepreneurship and innovation, which are natural talents of our people.

I’m proud to be a role model for my children – for academic success, for connection to Iwi and whānau, and also for my creative side. I have a keen interest in mahi toi, traditional weaving. My Nana was a skilled weaver and I’m continuing to build on the skills and knowledge she taught me.

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DeVon AhMu

Ngāti Rārua

Bachelor of Software Engineering

I am a software developer working in a field which has and continues to grow rapidly. Although I wasn’t much of a ‘techie’, I chose this industry based on the opportunities it presented and the feeling of achievement from producing a program out of thin air. For the last year and a half, I have been working as a CRM developer for a company called Whānau Tahi. Our products focus on supporting and empowering whānau aspirations for overall well-being.

I have been very fortunate to receive a scholarship through Te Hunga Pānuku programme to help me graduate with a four-year degree. During the last five years with Wakatū, they have provided endless support and opportunities to grow my career and reconnect with my Māori heritage and culture. I have loved every moment and I look to contribute back to Wakatū in as many ways as possible.

I would like to strongly encourage any current or future students to apply. And if you are still undecided on what to study, it would be awesome to see more Māori in the IT industry! Remember, you don’t have to be a complete ‘techie’ to move to this industry. Hard work and passion will take you a long way!


Jessica Sanderson

Te Ātiawa

Bachelor of Performance Design

“I am an artist who works primarily with video. For the last few years I’ve been working for TVNZ based in Tamaki-makau-rau. I am an editor and director creating trailers and promos for shows as well as advertising for their creative department – Blacksand. My latest directing and producing project was for Sony Music NZ. I directed a music video for Stan Walker and Ginny Blackmore’s song, Holding You.  My scholarship from Wakatū Incorporation enabled me to complete a four year degree through Massey University and Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School. Creative production combines many disciplines, I would recommend taking subjects such as art, design, film, history, photography and English. If you are working as a freelance designer or director you also need to be able to budget and plan. A good understanding of taxes and running your own affairs will help.  You are never too young to write and express yourself!  Decide whose opinion you trust and admire, and listen to those people when it comes to feedback on your work. Be brave.  Good luck!”


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Turi McFarlane

Te Ātiawa

Bachelor of Science (Agricultural Science & Ecology), Master of Applied Science (International Rural Development) Environment Extension Manager

“I am passionate about our relationship as Māori to the whenua and have based my career around sustainable land use and production. I work as an Environment Extension Manager with Beef & Lamb New Zealand specialising in building the relationship we have as farmers and growers with our environment. I completed my qualifications with the support of Wakatū Incorporation. As part of my study, I travelled to Antarctica and spent time with the New Zealand Antarctic programme looking at different aspects of seal migration and glacial movements. Part of this study also looked at the relationship we as Māori have with Antarctica and historical accounts of navigation in Antarctic waters. I am very grateful for the support and really encourage our people to take up the challenge and change the reality of their whānau and themselves.

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Tuaiwa Rickard

Ngāti Koata

Master of Science (Environmental), Bachelor of Science & Maori

As a trained environmental scientist Tuaiwa started her career at NIWA (National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research) where she was instrumental in developing an easy to use estuarine tool-kit for Iwi and hapū to monitor the health of their coastal resources. Empowering Iwi and hapū to utilise science, and giving them the tools to determine what’s really happening with their resources has been an ongoing passion for Tuaiwa that led her to the world of television where she associate produced, directed, researched and coordinated for Māori Televisions science series “Project Mātauranga” and “Project Whenua.” Currently Tuaiwa is coordinating a Coastal Dune Restoration Project on some Wakatū whenua at Mārahau. She sees it as giving back to the whānau who have supported her in education.