Kupe Scholarship Awards

A former Manu Samoa rugby player, a mother and passionate environmentalist, and a physics enthusiast who overcame a head injury to fulfil his academic dreams, are among 30 Kupe Scholarship Award recipients honoured at a ceremony hosted by Associate Education Minister Tim Macindoe in Parliament this week.

The prestigious scholarships recognise Māori and Pacific achievers and support them to complete their teaching qualification in early childhood, primary and secondary teaching sector.

Of the 30 scholars, 21 are of Māori, and nine are of Pacific descent, hailing from across Aotearoa, from Northland at the top of the North Island, to Invercargill in the Deep South. 

Each of the scholars was awarded based on strong academic success and demonstrable leadership experience in their respective communities.

Ministry of Education’s Deputy Secretary, Early Learning and Student Achievement, Ellen MacGregor-Reid says, "the Kupe Scholarship continues to attract high calibre scholars."

"These individuals are passionate about their respective communities," she says.

"The scholarship gives them the opportunity to continue making a difference.

"Behind each recipient is an incredible back story of drive and purpose that has got them here today and they should be congratulated for their efforts."

Kupe Scholarship recipients will have their course fees paid, receive a $15,000 study allowance, professional mentoring and assistance with finding a job.

Malia Sinisa - Kupe Scholar

Malia Sinisa is a mother of three and in her second year of study towards a bachelor’s degree in education in primary at the Auckland University of Technology.

As the second eldest of nine siblings, Malia has taken on leadership roles from a young age. She’s been a Zumba instructor, netball coach, youth leader and Sunday school teacher, plus a student mentor to her university peers.

As a student teacher, Malia draws inspiration from her Tongan mother who qualified and worked as an early childhood teacher in New Zealand, overcoming barriers of migration, language and culture.


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