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Minister welcomes scholarship to mark land march anniversary

Hon Christopher Finlayson

Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations

10 September 2015 Media Statement

Minister welcomes scholarship to mark land march anniversary

Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Christopher Finlayson has welcomed a leading law firm’s decision to provide a scholarship to mark the 40th anniversary of the 1975 Land March.

Buddle Findlay has agreed to offer a scholarship to one third or fourth year Māori law student to be selected from across New Zealand. In addition to covering tuition fees, as part of the scholarship, Buddle Findlay will offer the student a position in its summer clerk programme.

“The scholarship recognises an important time in New Zealand’s history,” Mr Finlayson said.

“Next week is the 40th anniversary of the start of Dame Whina Cooper’s land march from Te Hapua in the Far North.

“Within a month, the 50 protesters who set off from Te Hapua had swelled to 5000. They arrived in Wellington with a petition to the Prime Minister signed by 60,000 people seeking an end to the alienation of Māori land.

“The hikoi was a seminal moment in our history. It began a process that changed the way we view our nation’s past and, in particular, the Crown’s breaches of the promises it made when it signed the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840. It also came to symbolise a reassertion of Māori identity,” Mr Finlayson said.

“Dame Whina was a kuia of Te Rarawa, an iwi of Te Hiku o Te Ika. It is therefore fitting that the Treaty settlements of four Te Hiku iwi, including Te Rarawa, passed their third reading yesterday following 15 years of negotiation.

“I want to congratulate Buddle Findlay for offering this scholarship. I look forward to hearing more about the first successful recipient later this year,” Mr Finlayson said.

The first scholarship will be offered in 2016 and representatives from both Te Hiku iwi and Buddle Findlay will choose the scholarship recipient. The scholarship will be offered annually for at least five years and Buddle Findlay will invite Te Hiku iwi to name the award.

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