Two Huarahi Māori students awarded scholarships

21 September 2017

Tāmati Rākena (left) and Lois McIver are this year's recipients of the Sonny and Mona Riini Memorial Scholarships
Tāmati Rākena (left) and Lois McIver are this year's recipients of the Sonny and Mona Riini Memorial Scholarships

Two extraordinary students have been named as recipients of the Sonny and Mona Riini Memorial Scholarships.

The annual award ceremony held at the Faculty of Education and Social work last night named Tāmati Rākena and Lois McIver as this year’s winners. They were honoured for their academic merit, manaakitanga, personal attributes and the completion of practicum to a high standard.

Each year, up to three exceptional students in their second year of the Bachelor of Education (Teaching) Huarahi Māori specialisation are awarded the scholarships, which carry a value of up to $4500.

The Sonny and Mona Riini Memorial Scholarships were established in 1998 in recognition of the significant contribution made by Sonny and Mona to the faculty, in particular their support as whakaruruhau of the Huarahi Māori Specialisation of the Bachelor of Education (Teaching) programme.

The Bachelor of Education (Teaching) Huarahi Māori a three-year teacher education programme underpinned by te reo Māori, tikanga Māori and mātauranga Māori that prepares students to teach in Māori medium, bilingual and English-medium classrooms.

Recipient Tāmati Rākena was elated to find out he was the recipient of the scholarship and believes in the importance of the Huarahi Māori specialisation, “I tino harikoa ahau ki te whiwhi i te Karahipi Whakamaumaharatanga ki a Sonny rāua ko Mona Riini.

“Ia te wā ka whakaaro ahau mō ngā ringa raupā i akiaki mai i ahau i ngā rā kua hipa, a rātou mā hoki e hāpai tonu ana i taku hīkoi ki roto i tēnei ao o te mātauranga.

“Kāre e kore he whakawhiwhinga tēnei mō tōku whānau, mō ōku kaiako me ngā tauira o te kāinga. Heoi e mihi tonu ana ki a tātou katoa ngā tauira e ngana tonu ana ki roto i ngā mahi.

“Ko te Huarahi Māori tōku wāhi haumaru. Kāre he huarahi i tua atu i tēnei mō te tangata e ngākaunui ana ki te hāpai i te iwi Māori, otirā a tātou tamariki katoa.

“Ko te whāinga matua kia taea e au te hīkoi ngātahi ki ngā ao e rua; pērā i a Tā Hēmi Hēnare, i a Tākuta Ranginui Walker, pēnei hoki i a Moana Eruera me te tokomaha atu.”