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Māori Battalion’s legacy champions new paths to excellence

Hon Hekia Parata
Minister of Education

15 January 2014 Media Statement
Māori Battalion’s legacy champions new paths to excellence

Education Minister Hekia Parata says that students can visit the battle sites of World War Two, and enter a nationwide multimedia challenge as part of a revamped package to champion excellence in Māori education and leadership.

“To ensure the Māori Battalion’s legacy endures, the Ngārimu VC and 28th (Māori) Battalion Memorial Scholarship Fund Board is offering new and exciting ways to grow students’ understanding of the triumph and tragedy of those brave young men,” Ms Parata says.

“These include a battlefield pilgrimage, a multimedia challenge, new research and an Alumni Association for past recipients.”

Since 1948 the Board has supported generations of promising Māori students. Traditionally support has been offered through an essay competition and tertiary scholarships.

“The essay competition, scholarships and Manakura Award will still be offered in 2014. Alongside them will be even more opportunities for young Māori to get involved. Like the soldiers of the Battalion, the Board is combining tradition with innovation,” Ms Parata says.

Secondary school opportunities
One of the most exciting new opportunities takes place in May 2014. 30secondary school students will be joining a pilgrimage to Italy, Greece and Tunisia.

“This is a once in a lifetime experience. The students will stand where the soldiers stood, fought and fell. It will be deeply moving and something the students will never forget,” Ms Parata says.

“A documentary of the trip as seen through the students’ eyes will capture the experience. The Board will contribute $1,000 per student to help with travel costs.”

Students can also enter a new multimedia challenge. Designed to promote the use of 21st Century technologies, students can present their research about the 28 Māori Battalion in any of the 10 categories, including as a written essay. Entries open in Term One 2014.

Gathering old treasures
Last year marked the 70th anniversary of the awarding of the Victoria Cross to Second Lieutenant Ngārimu. In recognition, a one-off increase of $250,000 was made available to the Board. It will help to document the histories of the four Māori Battalion companies.

“Collecting this information helps round out our New Zealand history. Not only that but they will be the basis of new resources for students to learn about World War II, their forebears and lessons of these tragedies and triumphs,” Ms Parata says.

Alumni Association
A newly established Alumni Association will meet in April 2014, providing past scholarship recipients with an opportunity to carry on the legacy of Māori achievement by mentoring and investing in those who are just starting out.

“In turn, the most recent scholarship recipients will benefit from the guidance and advice of their more established and experienced fellow recipients,” Ms Parata says.

2013/2014 scholarship recipients announced
“I want to congratulate the successful scholars who will not only receive significant financial assistance with their studies, but will also carry the mana of being a scholarship holder for life.

“I would like to acknowledge all those who applied and I understand from the panel that the calibre was extremely high making selections very difficult.”

The nine scholarship recipients are Mrs Inez Awatere-Walker and Dr Elana Curtis in the Doctoral category, each receives $25,000 for one year. The Masters Scholarship goes to Ms Jamie Rolleston, Ms Kristin Ross and Mr Kawiti Waetford, each receives $15,000 for one year. The undergraduate recipients are Ms Ariana Andrews, Ms Ruahei Demant, Mr Aperahama Hurihanganui and Ms Moerangi Tamati who each receive $10,000 per year for up to five years.

The scholarships are designed to inspire, reward and support Māori education achievement and success.

“To honour the spirit and sacrifice of the Battalion soldiers, we must ensure their legacy lives on in future generations, especially among tomorrow’s leaders,” Ms Parata says.

Note to editors:
More information about these opportunities will be available in 2014 on the Ministry of Education website:
www.minedu.govt.nz/NgarimuVCand28thMaoriBattalion or email ngarimu.scholarship@minedu.govt.nz

The Legacy of the 28 Māori Battalion – pilgrimage to Italy, Tunisia and Greece
In May 2014, 30 students will participate in a pilgrimage to Italy, Tunisia and Greece. The Board will provide a $1,000.00 grant towards the trip costs for each student.

The pilgrimage is an opportunity for students to experience firsthand where their forefathers fought and lived during their service overseas. A further grant will be provided towards a documentary of the pilgrimage, which will tell this story through the students’ eyes.

The Ngārimu VC and 28th Māori Battalion Multi-media Challenge
The traditional essay competition has been re-designed to also promote the use of 21st Century technologies. In addition to an essay category, the updated competition will offer a range of media categories through which the students can present their research about Ngārimu and the 28 Māori Battalion values and deeds, and their relevance in today’s context.

The multi-media challenge will be offered in Term 1 of 2014. A theme will be set and students will have 10 media categories to choose from. As well as individual entries there is as option for group entries of up to five students excluding the essay category. There are cash prizes for the winning entries and schools will also have the opportunity to win prizes for participating. An overall prize of $1,500 is also offered and will go towards the publication of the most outstanding entry.

Company histories and related initiatives
An investment package of $250,000 to support documenting the history of the four Māori Battalion rifle companies was announced in October 2013. Documenting the histories of the Battalion will help retain the stories of our war heroes while providing students with resources about World War II, their ancestors and the price of citizenship. This package also includes student based activities to commemorate the services of the 28th Māori Battalion.

2014/2015 Ngārimu VC and 28th Māori Battalion Memorial Scholarships
The scholarships are designed to inspire, reward and support Māori education achievement and success. Five scholarships and one Manakura Award will be offered in 2014; three at undergraduate level valued at $10k per year for up to five years, one masters valued at $15k per year for up to two years, and one doctoral scholarships valued at $25kper year for up to 2 years. Scholarships payments will be paid on a pro basis for those studying part-time. Among the past recipients are aspiring and talented surgeons, lawyers and artists.

An Alumni Association is being setup to provide previous scholarship recipients with an opportunity to carry on this legacy of Māori achievement. The first gathering of the Alumni Association will be held in April 2014. They will meet with and mentor present day recipients and invest in young Māori leaders of tomorrow in a variety of ways. www.facebook.com/ngarimu.alumni .

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