Ngārimu recipient aspires to be Prime Minister

Issue: Volume 98, Number 4

Posted: 11 March 2019
Reference #: 1H9rxi

Receiving a scholarship has helped a young man along his political path.

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Ezekiel Raui aspires to one day be the Prime Minister of New Zealand. But at the age of 20 he knows he’s still got a lot to learn and experience.

“How I get there, I’m not sure,” says Ezekiel. “I’ve always enjoyed academia and the idea of furthering education.

“That’s an important tool for our success as Māori and Pacific Islanders.”

Ezekiel received a Ngārimu Scholarship in 2015/16 and this helped him with his degree in business studies through Massey University in Auckland. It set him up for a job working in an area he’s passionate about – suicide prevention.

“I am similar to a lot of Māori and Pacific Island families that I’m the first in the family to attend university and so it’s a big thing,” he says.

“Financially it can be difficult and so I saw the scholarship as a chance to alleviate the financial burden that it was going to cause and with my degree I’d be a step closer to becoming Prime Minister one day. 

“I’m neither left or right or anything in between. But as a young person I’ve seen politics as a vehicle to getting things done and now it’s a matter of navigating the right path.”

The 20-year-old often reflects on his Ngārimu Scholarship – in particular, men like his koro Horotai Tito of A Company in WW1, who demonstrated leadership in lots of different ways and not just on the battlefield.

“They spoke te reo Māori during a time when it was frowned upon and I admire that about them.

“I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing because it’s humbling to think we’re here because of the sacrifices of our tūpuna and men like my koro. To me, I look at it as a way of giving back for the sacrifices they’ve made for me.”

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Ezekiel Raui

For an aspiring politician, Ezekiel had a bit of a whirlwind 2018. Named as one of the Queen’s Young Leaders recipients last year, he was flown to Buckingham Palace in June to meet royalty, including the Duke and Duchess of Sussex Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

“When my whānau and friends saw the photos of all the recipients meeting the Queen, my [social network] feeds went off.”

It’s all water off a duck’s back for the level-headed young man who has long been touted as a future leader. 

Applications for the 2020 Ngārimu Scholarships(external link) are open from 17 June to
9 September 2019.

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero,

Posted: 11:08 am, 11 March 2019

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