Te Rūnanga-ā-Iwi-o-Ngāpuhi has signed an agreement with Te Herenga Waka - Victoria University of Wellington, and the benefactor vehicle Māori Education Trust to match dollar for dollar of education scholarships the rūnanga gives to its members to attend university.
Named Te Marewa o Tautoru, the agreement will have the three partners work together for the educational betterment of the iwi.
Members of the iwi met at Kohewhata Marae in Kaikohe to sign the agreement, and it means Te Rūnanga-ā-Iwi-o-Ngāpuhi will be able to support more Ngāpuhi into tertiary education at Te Herenga Waka through the annual education scholarship scheme.
Te Rūnanga-ā-iwi-o-Ngāpuhi chairman Wane Wharerau says for six years Te Rūnanga-ā-Iwi-o-Ngāpuhi have had an agreement with Victoria University.
"There was an agreement to have a dollar for dollar scholarship partnership. In terms of Te Rūnanga-ā-Iwi-o-Ngāpuhi input, we allocate $97,000 per year."
"There are three groups associated with Te Marewa o Tautoru. The aim is to equip the children of Ngāpuhi with education."
Hone Sadler, who came up with the name of the agreement, takes Te Mare o Tautoru from karakia, more specifically, a karakia of renowned Māori navigator Ruanui.
Ka marewa Atutahi, ka rere Tautoru, whakamau atu ahau ki a Pātarikaihau. Ka korowhiti te marama he paewhenua. Ka whiti auē, ko Aotea, ko Aotea, ko Aotea.
As Atutahi rises, so does Tautoru, I fix my gaze to Pātari-kai-hau. The moon crosses over the horizon. As we cross, it is Aotea, it is Aotea, it is Aotea.
Wharerau says Ngāpuhi want to work with the Crown in the coming years to enhance opportunities in education.
"It's an engagement I would encourage the Crown to have a talk with us about where Ngāpuhi and the Crown move forward, in terms of our relationships. We're ready to have that conversation."