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Canterbury University to offer new scholarships

23 January 2009

Canterbury University to offer new Te Reo Māori scholarships

The University of Canterbury will offer up to 300 Te Reo Māori Scholarships totalling about $60,000 to Māori and non-Māori students studying stage one te reo in 2009.

It is the first year the scholarships have been offered by the University in conjunction with the College of Arts and Aotahi: School of Māori and Indigenous Studies.

Associate Professor Rawiri Taonui, Head of Aotahi: School of Maori Indigenous Studies, said te reo Māori is a tāonga under the Treaty of Waitangi and, as such, the University supports the preservation of te reo through teaching, scholarship and advocacy.

“The revitalisation of te reo is directly related to the survival of Māori as a people and the survival of this people as Māori,” he said.

Applications would be automatic upon enrolment in courses with payment of the $250 Te Reo Māori awards depending on successful completion.

Professor Taonui said the decision to offer such scholarships came from a desire to enhance the University’s commitment to engage with Māori aspirations.

“The School is part of the Māori Studies Ipukarea: Institute of Excellence for Te Reo Māori with AUT, the University of Auckland, University of Waikato, Victoria University, Lincoln University, Massey University, Māori Television and Te Taurawhiri i te reo – the Māori Language Commission.

“The scholarships are intended to build on such initiatives to convey an appropriate and strong message to Māori entities and the wider community about the University’s commitment to te reo Māori. The University and School also wish to support the Ngai Tahu initiative Kotahi Mano Kaika that sets a goal of having 1000 tribal homes speaking te reo,” said Professor Taonui.

“Because it provides for both Māori and non-Maori students the strategy also sends a positive message to the wider community. The aim here is to recognise that building a healthy, inclusive and dynamic bi-cultural and multi-cultural future of New Zealand in part lies in encouraging all New Zealanders to learn and speak te reo.”

 
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