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Exceptional Student Wins Prestigious Maori Scholarship

Sunday, August 5 2012

Exceptional Student Wins Prestigious Maori Scholarship

University of Otago student Anita van der Loo (Ngāi Tahu) has won the 2012 New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants (NZICA) Nga Raumanako Māori Accounting Scholarship.

The 21-year-old, who is completing a double degree in Commerce (accounting) and Law, received the honour at the National Maori Accountants’ Network Conference in Auckland last night.

The $5000 scholarship is awarded to a young Māori student to excel in accounting and contribute to the successful economic development of the Māori community.

Anita, who hails from Balclutha, was thrilled with her win.

“I feel honoured - I definitely wasn’t expecting it. I was going to the conference anyway and I was really excited about it so this is amazing to win,” she said.

“I’ll use the money to help pay off my student loan.”

NZICA Chief Executive Terry McLaughlin said the judging panel was impressed with Anita's commitment to her community.

“The judges described Anita as ‘a shining light’ and commented on what a well rounded capable student she is, with significant drive, commitment and demonstrable leadership. It is our pleasure to award such an exceptional young woman.”

Anita, a former Head Girl at South Otago High School, intends to pursue a career as a Chartered Accountant when she finishes her degrees.

“I have an indescribable passion for accounting as it just seems to make sense to me.

“I am very proud to be of Māori descent and it is important to me to give back to all the people who help me achieve my goals and to make my whānau proud.”
Anita is a current mentor for the University of Otago Peer Assisted Study Session initiative and a member of the university’s Māori Law Students Association. She is also a volunteer at the Dunedin Community Law Centre.

More than 170 people attended this year’s National Maori Accountants’ Network Conference in Auckland.

The theme of the two-day event was “wealth creation through innovation and leadership”, with keynote speakers including Sir Ralph Norris, Sir John Goulter, Neville Jordan and Dr Pita Sharples.


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