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Sir Āpirana Ngata Memorial Scholarship

A scholarship for tauira Māori, in remembrance of those who served in WWI.

The Sir Āpirana Ngata Memorial Scholarship was created by the Māori Soldier's Trust Act 1957 to promote higher education of Māori.

The Māori Trustee administers the Sir Āpirana Ngata Memorial scholarship on behalf of the Māori Soldiers Trust. This includes promoting the scholarship and managing applications.

Applications are available to Māori studying at a tertiary level. For those studying in 2024, applications are due by May 1, 2024. 

Funding for the scholarship comes from Hereheretau Station, Wairoa, the major asset of the Māori Soldiers Trust.


  • E tipu e rea mo ngā rā o tō ao

    Ko tō ringa ki ngā rākau ā te Pakeha Hei ara mō tō tinana

    Ko tō ngākau ki ngā tāonga a ō tīpuna Māori

    Hei tikitiki mō tō māhuna

    Ko tō wairua ki tō Atua, Nānā nei ngā mea katoa

    Grow up and thrive for the days destined to you.

    Your hands to the tools of the Pakeha to provide physical sustenance,

    Your heart to the treasures of your Māori ancestors as a diadem for your brow,

    Your soul to your God, to whom all things belong.

     – Tā Apirana Ngata

    Sir Āpirana Ngata was a prominent leader and politician who advocated for Māori and whenua Māori reform during the 19th and 20th century.

    Of Ngāti Porou, Te Whānau-a-Te Ao, Ngāti Rangi, Te Whānau-a-Karuai and Ngāti Rākairoa descent, he was the first Māori to complete a degree at a New Zealand University.

  • This scholarship is open to all Māori studying at tertiary level. This may include university, polytechnic, or wananga.

    Although all students of Māori descent are eligible, preference is given to those who can show whakapapa links to a Māori solider that served in World War One.

    Please note that eligibility is not a guarantee of success. The Māori Trustee reserves the right to decline to offer some or any of the scholarships.

  • Grant amounts are at the discretion of the members of the Māori Soldiers Trust Committee. They are usually between $500 and $3000.

    The scholarship can be used for whatever study-related costs you may have, such as fees, textbooks, computers, or living costs.

  • The Auckland War Memorial Centotaph database has comprehensive details of those who served in World War I, including, where available, their service numbers and dates. Go to to search the database. 

    Te Hokowhitu a Tu: the Māori Pioneer Battalion in the First World War by Christopher Pugsley may also be a good source of information. You should be able to borrow a copy from your local library.

  • If you are of Māori descent, and are studying at a tertiary institution, you are eligible to apply - even if the institution you are studying at is not in Aotearoa. 

  • You will need to submit your application by May 1, 2024. There are three ways to apply:

    - Save this editable PDF found at the top of this page to your laptop and fill out. Once complete, email it to [email protected] with all the supporting documentation.

     - You can also print everything and post it to us if you like:

    The Māori Soldiers Trust
    c/o Te Tumu Paeroa
    PO Box 5038
    Wellington 6140

    If you would like us to email or post you an application, please contact us. Call us 0800 943 682 or email [email protected]

    - We have developed an online form, but it's unfortunately out of action right now. We are working hard to fix it and it will be back on this page when we're confident it works as it should! Thank you for your patience.

  • You will need to give us:

     - Proof of your bank account details, such as a bank statement or screenshot from online banking
     - Relevant academic records, such as NCEA results, certificates and university transcripts
     - Proof that you are enrolled at the institution you have cited

     - Proof that you have paid your fees already (for example, a Studylink statement)
     - Details of the whakapapa line from your WWI tīpuna to you
     - A kaumatua we can contact to verify the whakapapa
     - Two written references from people who know. This may be from a teacher, community leader, employer, kaumatua or another person who knows you well.

    If you are using the online form to apply, please note that you will not be able to save progress - so it's a good idea to have this documentation ready before you start it. 

  • Selection will be based on the assessed ability of each candidate to successfully undertake and complete the agreed study. Committee members may consider:
    - Academic achievements
    - Demonstrable interest in Māori language and culture
    - Evidence of involvement in cultural and or community activities.

    Good references are also important. They could be from:
    - Someone familiar with your academic achievements, such a kaiakō, principal or post-graduate supervisor
    - A member of the community that knows you well, such as a person from your marae, church, kapa haka or sports team.
    - An employer or manager, from paid or unpaid work roles.
    - A kaumatua or rangatira from your whānau or hapū

  • Call us 0800 943 682 (0800 WHENUA), or email [email protected]