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Waikato Student Recipient of Post-Grad Scholarship

News Release 19 May 2008

Waikato University Student Recipient of Prestigious Post-Graduate Scholarship

University of Waikato post-graduate student Paul Mudge is a joint winner of a Pukehou Pouto Scholarship for 2008; it has been announced by the New Zealand Vice-Chancellors’ Committee (NZVCC).

The Pukehou Pouto Scholarship was established from a bequest from the estate of Edith Fraser and is managed on behalf of the estate by Public Trust. The scholarship is worth $10,000 a year; however, due to the high quality of applications received, a one off decision was made to award two scholarships in 2008. The other winner is Kirsty Hammond from Massey University.

Studying for his MSc in soil science at Waikato University, Paul’s thesis investigates the effects of soil physical disturbance on carbon exchange in dairy pastures. He plans to pursue a career in an agriculture-related area, carrying out research that will ultimately assist New Zealand farmers and others who work the land to improve productivity whilst sustaining the environment.

Originally from Otorohanga where he lived on a sheep and beef farm, Paul attended Otorohanga College, before heading to Massey University to complete his Diploma in Agriculture. Paul then got practical farming experience working on two large sheep and beef farms in Gore and Otorohanga before returning to study at Waikato University, where he completed his BSc degree last year.

Edith Fraser, who died in 1980, specified that the Pukehou Poutu Scholarship be used to fund studies in agricultural or silvicultural sciences. Awarded annually, the scholarship is available for postgraduate students at any New Zealand university.

The Pukehou Pouto Scholarship is one of over 40 scholarships awarded each year by the NZVCC. These include graduate awards such as the Claude McCarthy Fellowship, Commonwealth Scholarships, the New Zealand Law Foundation Ethel Benjamin Prize, William Georgetti Scholarship and the Woolf Fisher Scholarships. Undergraduate awards managed by NZVCC include the Douglas Myers Scholarship, Girdlers’ Scholarship and the Kitchener Memorial Scholarship.

The Pukehou Pouto Scholarship is one of over 400 charitable trusts (including a number of scholarships) managed by Public Trust. These trusts and scholarship include interests as diverse as science, medicine, disability and agriculture. Collectively, the trusts provide the means for many people to live better lives, enhance their skills or enjoy better community facilities.

“The NZVCC and Public Trust are delighted that the Pukehou Pouto Scholarship has been awarded to such an outstanding student. The calibre of this year’s applicants was of an exceptionally high standard. We wish Paul all the best for his ongoing studies and look forward to following his progress throughout the year, and in his chosen profession down the line,” said Kiri Manuera, Scholarships Manager for NZVCC.

Applications for next year’s Pukehou Pouto Scholarship should be made by 1 October 2008. Application details can be found on


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