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Next generation of leaders called for Kupe Scholarships

Next generation of leaders called for Kupe Leadership Scholarships

Just as Kupe bravely sailed across the Pacific for an unknown land, the same courageous spirit is sought in the first intake of Kupe Leadership Scholars at the University of Auckland.

Students from around the country with high aspirations for New Zealand, a powerful wish to contribute, and who are already showing signs of real leadership potential, are encouraged to apply for one of the most prestigious scholarships at the University.

Up to 20 Kupe Leadership Scholarships are available for the 2019 academic year at postgraduate and masters level. Worth $24,100 each, the scholarship covers fees, accommodation, and, crucially, development and mentorship in leadership.

Successful recipients will form a cohesive community of young scholars who will be nurtured in a leadership development programme specifically designed by the New Zealand Leadership Institute (NZLI). They will also be matched with a high calibre mentor to advise, challenge and guide them, drawn from a variety of fields and roles.

Vicki Watson, Director of the NZLI, says the Kupe Leadership Scholarships are for talented Kiwis who care about issues and challenges bigger than themselves, and who demonstrate the courage and determination of those early navigators to lead.

“Just as Kupe and his wife Kuramarotini drew on the stars to guide them in their quest, our scholars will have mentors to nurture them in their journey,” she says. “As well, they will meet a variety of New Zealand’s leaders across a wide cross section of society.”

McKinsey & Co Senior Partner and past Rhodes’ Scholar Andrew Grant welcomed the Kupe Leadership Scholarships as an incentive to keep our best young people at home and engaged.

“We want to put fuel on that fire of unleashing the ambition of our young people,” he says.

“In 20 or 30 years’ time I think we will look back at this gathering of the first 20 young people as pivotal in our nation’s history – that we sowed the seeds of growing some of our greatest leaders.”

The selection process will consider leadership experience and capacity, as well as academic achievements, with special consideration given to including gender and racial diversity and a range of disciplines in the cohort.

The Kupe Leadership Scholarships are seed-funded by Canadian philanthropist and Rhodes Scholar John McCall MacBain and are supported by a number of other philanthropic donors to the University of Auckland Campaign For All Our Futures. Over time, it is hoped these home-grown scholarships will come to have the prestige and mana that has been associated with those from overseas, such as the Rhodes Scholarships and others.

Applications are sought from students in all disciplines, at all New Zealand universities and close 24 August. Visit to apply.


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