Owners put priority on education

Published 20th Sep 2011
Owners of a Te Aroha block are proud to help their young people achieve their education goals.

Moyra Bramley, one of five advisory trustees of the 485 hectare block, says that for the past 20 years, the owners have set aside some of the income from the land each year to put into education grants “for the kids”.

“We’ve got some really smart rangatahi out there from all kinds of backgrounds.  This year we made 20 grants of $500 and that helps them with things like textbooks.  Over the years we’ve helped our young people become doctors, lawyers, teachers …  and seen them grow as they follow their path through universities, wananga and polytechs.  We’re proud that we can play a part.

“The Māori Trustee is responsible trustee for the block and they do everything from advertising the grants to processing applications, helping us with selection, and paying out the grants.”

Maureen Tinkler, from the Māori Trustee Hamilton office, says she is impressed by the strong commitment of the owners to education for the next generation.

Owners' priority

“The land was vested in the Tūhourangi hapū in 1919 after the Tarawera eruption which had buried the village.  Over the years, the number of owners increased dramatically – there are now 3000 - and when we became responsible trustee for the block in 1989, there was a lot of discussion about what to do with the rental returns.  The owners saw the value of education for their young people and have made it a priority to hold some money for the grants since then.”

Moyra says the owners understand the importance of education both for the young people themselves and the community as a whole. 

“Supporting  rangatahi education is a powerful thing to do with your money.  Each individual owner might only get a small amount each year, and it gets smaller as the ownership gets more fragmented.  Putting at least some of that money into education for the next generation brings a big benefit to everyone.”

Trustees in the block are Māori Trustee as responsible trustee and advisory trustees Moyra Bramley, Gavin McGrath, Gail Marama Lee, George Skudder and Rangi Briggs.