A Rotorua student is one of three inaugural winners of the John Waller Memorial Scholarships at the University of Canterbury.

BNZ and PwC New Zealand have announced Matthew Gatenby, 17, is one of the recipients. The other two are from Christchurch.

There were more than 130 applications for the scholarships and these young people stood out from their peers for their combination of outstanding academic results, leadership potential, and involvement in the life of their school and community.

The scholarship programme was established this year to honour the values and professional contribution of former BNZ Board chairman and respected PwC managing partner John Waller, ONZM, FCA.

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Matthew plans to study operations and supply chain management.

He was deputy head boy of Rotorua Lakes High School this year, captain of the hockey First XI, a hockey coach and swim coach.

Matthew is also a volunteer rural firefighter at the Lake Tarawera Fire Unit, helps control possum numbers in his community and assists collecting data for Fish & Game.

For five years from 2018, BNZ and PwC will fund three competitive scholarships per year to school leavers choosing to study commerce, science or law at the University of Canterbury.

The John Waller Memorial Scholarships provide $18,000 to each student, as well as summer internships at BNZ and PwC, and mentoring from BNZ and PwC staff.

In line with John Waller's values, the programme provides the opportunity for students to study at the University of Canterbury when personal or financial circumstances restrict their ability to enter tertiary education.