Outstanding wāhine win Dame Te Atairangikaahu scholarships

By Jessica Tyson

Four Wintec students have been awarded the Dame Te Atairangikaahu Nursing Scholarships to study nursing or midwifery.

Now in its eleventh year, the scholarships aim to help more Māori into the health field while honouring the late Māori Queen's leadership and care for people.

This year’s scholarship winners are Te Rina Joseph, Christina Poihaere Whare, Courtney Kahura and Rihipeti Te Atatu Magner. They'll each receive up to $6,000 towards the cost of their tuition for up to three years. 

Christine Poihaere Whare, of Ngāti Wairere, is studying towards Wintec's 18-month Diploma of Enrolled Nursing.

She decided to study nursing later in life after looking after a family member with cancer.  With four sons, she also wanted to show her family that it's never too late to study. 

"This scholarship means the world to me and my family.  It makes me more determined to get this tohu not only for my whānau but also my people.  The financial support helps me worry less and lets me focus on my studies.”

Te Rina Joseph is a second year Bachelor of Midwifery student who, prior to studying, worked for seven years at Tamariki Ora as a kaiāwhina and childbirth educator where she facilitated kaupapa Māori antenatal programmes, incorporating traditional Māori birthing techniques.

She is also a proud Mum to three sons.

"Dame Te Atairangikaahu was a role model to many, including myself, wanting nothing but the best for Māori.  It is an honour to receive a scholarship in her name and have it support my midwifery journey," says Joseph.

Also receiving scholarships are third-year Bachelor of Midwifery student Courtney Kahura, of Ngāti Hauā, as well as and Rihipeti Te Atatu Magner, a second year Bachelor of Nursing student of Ngāti Maniapoto descent.

Wintec director of Māori Hera White says the four Māori wahine are all outstanding academically and destined to become leaders in their chosen field of nursing or midwifery.

This year’s the scholarships are funded by Wintec and the Kōhanga Reo National Trust.