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Council Scholarship Supports Students’ Engineering Aspirations

Local tertiary students Olivia Tilby-Adams and Tay Ririnui are set to engineer a sustainable future for our region with support of the Tauranga Moana Futures scholarship.

The first-year Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) students were selected for the scholarship based on their desire to make a difference in Tauranga Moana for present and future generations.

Established in 2022, the first Tauranga Moana Futures scholarships were donated by Tauranga City Council to support talented University of Waikato undergraduate students whose field of study will contribute to the development of Tauranga City and the wider region.

As a part of the scholarship, Olivia and Tay will receive work experience and project-based learning opportunities at Tauranga City Council.

Olivia, a Pāpāmoa College alumnus, says she’s grateful for the unique opportunity.

“With all the growth our city is experiencing, it's inspiring to be able to be involved, especially having witnessed Pāpāmoa’s development and transformation.

“It’s a great chance to experience working with council and see all the pathways on offer, as well as to connect with others who are passionate about our beautiful local area."

With a passion for the environment, sustainability and design, civil engineering was the choice of study for Olivia.

“Growing up in Pāpāmoa, I've seen first-hand how these are connected. I would really like to have a job working in sustainable infrastructure or planning, such as helping to protect and enhance our green spaces and waterways.”

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Tay, a Mount Maunganui College alumnus of Ngāti He and Ngāi Te Rangi descent, says the scholarship not only eases the financial pressure of his degree but fuels his determination to succeed even further.

“To be recognised as an individual capable of helping address our city's present and future needs is an honour. It gives me further motivation to work hard and succeed in my study.

“The scholarship reduces the financial burden of my degree and means I can put greater focus into studying without having to worry about juggling part-time work on the side during the academic year.”

The environmental engineering major says he aspires to develop the skills and knowledge needed to lead positive action for the natural environment, with kaitiakitanga (guardianship and protection) as his guiding principle.

“I hope to do this by developing innovative, nature-based solutions to environmental problems, especially those that face Tauranga now and in the future.”

Engineering New Zealand is the professional body for engineers, with 865 members in its Bay of Plenty branch. As an industry facing a skills shortage in New Zealand, Bay of Plenty branch Chair Kristi Whyte says aspiring engineers like Olivia and Tay are key to our region’s future.

“It’s fantastic that Tauranga City Council have enabled these scholarships and I congratulate Olivia and Tay.

“Aotearoa is currently facing a skills shortage of engineers and at the same time as cities like Tauranga are expected to grow by 80,000 people in 50 years. To have Olivia and Tay contribute their talents to our region’s future is both exciting and absolutely necessary.”

The scholarship is part of the broader Tauranga Moana Futures programme. The programme provides local tertiary students practical experiences in the form of project and team-based work to apply their academic study, growing their local government experience and supporting our local talent pipeline.

To learn more about Tauranga Moana Futures, visit www.tauranga.govt.nz/taurangamoanafutures.

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