Ngāi Tukairangi Trust awards Piuna Fisher Tertiary Excellence Scholarship

Hausa Watson, recipient of the 2021 Piuna Fisher Tertiary Excellence Scholarship. The attached photo

For more than 15 years, the Ngāi Tukairangi Trust has been aiming to provide scholarships for high excellence to recognize outstanding academic achievement in its contributors, particularly those studying in an honors year, masters or doctorate.

Ngāi Tukairangi Trust is the Ahu Whenua Trust whose primary activity is kiwi fruit development.

Its main base is in Matabihi, Tauranga, but recently the trustees have expanded their efforts to acquire orchards in Hiritunga, Hawk’s Bay, and Kerikeri. The Wano contributors are largely from the Ngāi Tukairangi hapū members of the Hungahungatoroa marae and Whareroa marae communities.

Today, as part of the standard annual general meeting process, an award has also been made to Hausa Watson, recipient of the 2021 Piuna Fisher Tertiary Excellence Scholarship.

Highly respected, Peyuna Koya lived in Matabeihi most of her life, and was an active member of the community who devoted much of her life to her pursuits in Wannau, Happu, and Mari.

She was a fluent speaker of te reo Māori, and studied at Matapihi Kura, but went on to work as an assistant nurse in Mangakino, before returning home to work in hospitality.

Michael Fisher, her eldest son, said that his parents taught him many skills and instilled in their children the virtues of hard work, curiosity and independence. Piuna shared stories about her fondness for kaimoana.

“There is no doubt that she cherished and enjoyed her life, as it centered on Matabei, and the responsibilities associated with being an intelligent koya for our hapū and marae and whānau – a unique tapestry and enduring legacy of personal and shared feelings, experiences and relationships.”

“Our mother would be pleasantly surprised to receive this award in recognition of her contribution to her community. But, I must say, our Marai communities are full of amazing koya and Kurawa, like my mother, who devoted her life to making their communities better places to live.

Ngāi Tukairangi kuia Piuna Fisher.  The attached photo
Ngāi Tukairangi kuia Piuna Fisher. The attached photo

“I am sure that every Marai in the country can recognize the dozens of leaders, who have retained and still retain a cultural tapestry and mastery of storytelling at the core of their hearts. I am also sure that, like our mother, they sing and yata, perform Karanga and being a Lunaau guide was something I felt. proud to do.”

The Grants Committee Chair, Helen T. Kani Matanga, was happy to find such a scholarship recipient as Husa Watson.

“How many of us know and Hanau is studying for a master’s degree in engineering? Isn’t that a great degree to strive for in this day and age where companies demand these kinds of skills in their industries. We are very proud to make this award. We are grateful that the Maori Education Fund has mobilized The credit is to enable us to give the recipient $10,000 this year instead of the usual $5,000.”

Hausa Watson, recipient of the Piuna Fisher Distinguished Scholarship, is over the moon.

“I feel very privileged. The money will make a huge difference in helping me with the costs associated with studying.”

Watson aims to complete a master’s degree next year and then work in the role of a research and development engineer. He wants to get a PhD in Mechanical Engineering. In the future, it aims to support and encourage Maori in the study of STEM subjects, particularly engineering.

Watson was grateful for the scholarship and previous education grants from the Ngāi Tukairangi Trust and was pleased to learn more about kuia, which the scholarship recognizes.

The Ngai Tukairangi Trust is commemorating all the winners with a commemorative flyer this year, celebrating all the scholarships and internships awarded to students over the past 15 years. It will be distributed to Wanao at today’s general assembly meeting.


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