Applications for Sir Āpirana Ngata Memorial Scholarship funding are now open. It’s all about supporting higher education for Māori – which is no surprise given who it’s named after.

Sir Āpirana Turupa Ngata

Sir Āpirana Ngata is well known across New Zealand – after all, some people carry a picture of him around in their wallets regularly. His legacy to New Zealand history lives on in memory emblazoned on our $50 notes here in Aotearoa. But who is the man behind the image on the note? And what does he have to do with this scholarship?

As a student, Sir Āpirana himself was the recipient of a scholarship (Te Makarini scholarship from Te Aute College and the Te Makarini Trust), which gave him the opportunity to study at Canterbury College and become the first Māori to complete a degree at a New Zealand University (BA in political science) in 1893. Sir Āpirana then gained an LL.B (A Bachelor of Laws) at Auckland University in 1896 and became the first New Zealander to gain a double degree. He went on to become a larger than life figure for Māori politics, reform and culture.

Click here for more information on the life of Sir Āpirana Ngata.

During World War I, the Māori Soldiers Fund was established on the East Coast (Sir Āpirana descends from Ngāti Porou) to help support Māori veterans and their whānau after the war. At the urging of Sir Āpirana, a sheep and cattle station (Hereheretau Station) was set up as an investment for the Trust and it is the Station that provides the funding for the Sir Āpirana Ngata Memorial Scholarship. In 1957 The Māori Soldiers Trust Act established the Māori Soldiers Trust Committee to administer the trust’s fund – and Te Tumu Paeroa (The Māori Trustee) was appointed to administer the scholarship on the trust’s behalf.

Hereheretau Station

Click here for more information on Hereheretau Station.

Since 1996, $693,000 has been awarded to more than 400 scholarship recipients. The opportunities a scholarship offer can open many doors for an individual – just look at the accomplishments of Sir Āpirana Ngata. Maybe we will see you immortalised on the New Zealand currency one day too.

Scholarship information

  • They are open to all Māori studying at a polytechnic, wānanga, university or other tertiary institution.
  • Preference is given to descendants of Māori who served overseas during World War I.

To apply for Sir Āpirana Ngata Memorial Scholarship fundingdownload the application form PDF and post it to the address supplied on the form. The form is available until 1 May 2017.

If you need more information, or would like us to post you an application form, send your name and postal address to us by email: