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Ngātiwai Opera singer Kawiti Waetford wins Scholarship

Media Release 20 June 2014

Ngātiwai Opera singer Kawiti Waetford wins Ngārimu VC Masters Scholarship

Rising Ngātiwai Opera star Kawiti Waetford has added another feather to his cap by winning the Ngārimu VC and 28th Maori Battalion Masters’ scholarship for 2013/2014 year.

Named as one of three Masters’ scholarship recipients Kawiti is currently at the University of Wales where the Whangarei boy is singing the sweet sounds of opera in the United Kingdom.

The Ministry of Education said Kawiti’s big break came in 2012, when he won the inaugural Lexus Song Quest Masterclass Scholarship. In the same year he received the inaugural Dame Kiri Te Kanawa scholarship as the singer judged to have ‘outstanding potential for an international career’.

In 2010 he was accepted for the Dame Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation mentoring and management programme. He has performed alongside Dame Kiri and at some of New Zealand’s most prestigious occasions.

Dame Kiri says “Kawiti possesses a remarkable voice and talent. There is no doubt that he has the potential and ability to succeed in the operatic profession at an international level”.

In pursuit of his study, Kawiti travelled to Dunedin where he became a house tutor in Carrington College at Otago University.

“Rangatiratanga to me is the realisation of one’s potential through serving a collective good, while inspiring in others, the desire for positive change and high level achievement.”

Kawiti has performed at the Ngāi Tahu Reo Māori Awards, the Christchurch Earthquake Memorial Service and was Master of Ceremonies for the Mana Pounamu Awards for Young Māori High Achievers. He is a past winner of the Rawhiti Ihaka Manaaki section of Ngā Manu Kōrero.

The Masters award is for $15,000.00 per year of full time study, for up to two years.


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