Ngārimu VC and 28th (Māori) Battalion Memorial Fund

Issue: Volume 93, Number 3

Posted: 24 February 2014
Reference #: 1H9ctm

New and exciting developments to the Ngārimu VC and 28th (Māori) Battalion Memorial Fund programme add rich opportunities for outstanding Māori students and leaders of tomorrow.

Legacy of excellence moves into our century

Since 1948, the Ngārimu VC and 28th (Māori) Battalion Memorial Fund Board has supported and acknowledged future Māori achievers and leaders who exemplify the spirit of the battalion and the traits that earned them an honoured place in New Zealand’s history.

The Fund Board has announced some exciting developments in its activities, which will provide opportunities for Māori students to express their connection to the triumph and tragedy of the 28th (Māori) Battalion; a connection that all New Zealanders share.

The Memorial essay competition, which has been a mainstay of the programme for more than 30 years, has been expanded into a multimedia challenge, reflecting the spectrum of 21st century modern teaching and learning.

Board Chair and Education Minister Hekia Parata says the revamped package of initiatives is designed to ensure the Māori Battalion’s legacy endures, and that students have more opportunities to grow their understanding of the triumph and tragedy of those brave young men.

“To honour the spirit and sacrifice of the battalion soldiers, we must ensure their legacy lives on in future generations, especially among tomorrow’s leaders.

“The essay competition, scholarships, and Manakura Award will again be offered in 2014. Alongside them are even more opportunities for young Māori to get involved. Like the soldiers of the battalion, the board is combining tradition with innovation,” she says.

The Challenge

The Ngārimu VC and 28th (Māori) Battalion Challenge (a multi-media experience) will be offered to Years 7–13 students in Term 1 of 2014, opening in March and closing in September. The Challenge will be launched at Rangikura Primary School on 5 March 2014. The traditional essay competition has been re-designed to promote the use of 21st century technologies. In addition to an essay category, the competition will offer a range of media categories such as short film, art work, and waiata through which the students can present their research about Ngārimu and the 28th (Māori) Battalion values and deeds and their relevance today.

A panel of teachers has been instrumental in helping the board and the Ministry of Education to design the 2014 Challenge. Together they have determined the 10 media categories from which students can choose to present their work, provide theme and topic options, and develop an assessment tool to evaluate the entries.

As well as individual entries, there is an option for group entries of up to five students, excluding the essay category which will need an individual entry. There are cash prizes for the winning entries and schools will also have the opportunity to win Ngārimu VC and 28th (Māori) Battalion resource packs for participating. An overall prize of $1,500 is also offered and will go towards the publication of the most outstanding entry.

Gathering old treasures

Last year, to mark the 70th anniversary of the posthumous awarding of the Victoria Cross to Second Lieutenant Ngārimu’s parents, the board was awarded a one-off funding increase of $250,000. This is being used to gather and document the histories of the four Māori Battalion companies, preserving this crucial legacy so young New Zealanders can continue to reflect on the inspirational heroism of their ancestors and iconic New Zealanders.

“Collecting this information helps round out our New Zealand history. Not only that, but in future, they will be the basis of new resources for students to learn about World War II, their forebears, and lessons of these tragedies and triumphs,” Minister Parata says.

Where are they now?

The board is calling for previous recipients of the tertiary scholarships and Manakura Award to continue the Ngārimu legacy through a new alumni association. The challenge is finding the members, as their success has often led them to the four corners of the earth. Do you know a previous recipient?

The Ngārimu VC and 28th (Māori) Battalion scholarships have been awarded since the 1970s. Many recipients have gone on to achieve great things and contribute to their communities, te ao Māori, New Zealand and the world. Among their number are Professor Whatarangi Winiata, Dr Patu Hohepa, Dr Monty Soutar, Hon Hekia Parata, and Māori language expert Pania Papa.

The Manakura Award for leadership was established in 2007. Among the past recipients are an actor, historian, Māori film maker, and a doctor.

An art auction will be held in April 2014 to raise funds for the establishment of the alumni association. The alumni association will provide its members with an opportunity to carry on the legacy of Māori achievement by mentoring and investing in those who are just starting out.

“In turn, the most recent scholarship recipients will benefit from the guidance and advice of their more established and experienced fellow recipients,” says Minister Parata.

2013/2014 scholarship recipients announced

The Board congratulates the most recent tertiary scholarship recipients who not only receive significant financial assistance with their studies, but will also carry the mana of being a scholarship holder for life. The scholarships are designed to inspire, reward, and support Māori education achievement and success.

Education Gazette will profile each of the winners in upcoming issues. The nine recipients in 2013 are: Inez Awatere-Walker and Dr Elana Curtis in the Doctoral category. Each will receive $25,000 for one year. The Masters Scholarships go to Jamie Rolleston, Kristin Ross and Kawiti Waetford; each receive $15,000 for one year. The undergraduate recipients are Ariana Andrews, Ruahei Demant, Aperahama Hurihanganui and Moerangi Tamati, who each receive $10,000 per year for up to five years.

Eligible senior students, teachers and school leaders planning to study at tertiary level in 2015 will be able to apply for the next round of scholarships from July 2014. They can also apply for a Manakura Award which recognises leadership and contribution among those who are not involved in tertiary study.

More information

More information about these opportunities will be available in 2014 on the Ministry of Education website:ārimuVCand28thMāoriBattalion or email Ngā

Company histories and related initiatives

An investment package of $250,000 to support documenting the history of the four Māori Battalion rifle companies was announced in October 2013. Documenting the histories of the battalion will help retain the stories of our war heroes while providing students with resources about World War II, their ancestors and the price of citizenship. This package also includes student based activities to commemorate the services of the 28th Māori Battalion.

2014/2015 Ngārimu VC and 28th (Māori) Battalion Memorial Scholarships

The scholarships are designed to inspire, reward and support Māori education achievement and success. Five scholarships and one Manakura Award will be offered in 2014.

Three scholarships at undergraduate level valued at $10k per year for up to five years, one masters valued at $15k per year for up to two years, and one doctoral scholarships valued at $25k per year for up to two years. Scholarship payments are paid on a pro rata basis for those studying part-time. Among the past recipients are aspiring and talented surgeons, lawyers, and artists.

The Manakura Award is valued at $30k for one year. Among the past recipients are an actor, historian, Māori film maker and a doctor.


An alumni association is being set up to provide previous scholarship and Manakura award recipients with an opportunity to carry on this legacy of Māori achievement. The first gathering of alumni will be held in April 2014. Over time, they will meet with and mentor present day recipients and invest in young Māori leaders of tomorrow in a variety of ways.

Approximately 100 of 300 alumni have been contacted to date. If you know the whereabouts of any past scholarship or Manakura Award recipients, please email

The alumni association has a Facebook page(external link)

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero,

Posted: 11:04 am, 24 February 2014

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