A Greytown man who has been awarded the Ngarimu VC and 28th (Maori) Battalion Memorial Scholarship this week will use his studies to honour the sacrifices of the Maori Battalion in war.
Herewini Ammunson, 18, is a former pupil of Greytown Primary and Masterton Intermediate School, and was one of 114 applicants for the scholarship.
Mr Ammunson's law and commerce degree at Victoria University in Wellington will be covered by the $50,000 scholarship, which was established in 1948 in honour of the 28th Maori Battalion to support future Maori leaders to be successful in education.
"When I heard that my application was successful I was quite shocked eh, I didn't expect it at all," he said.
"It was quite humbling. It's pretty cool because my family, or my grandma's brother, was one of the last surviving members of the Maori Battalion, so it was quite cool to be awarded the scholarship, not only to honour him but also all other Maori Battalion members."
Mr Ammunson said he took a lot of inspiration from "those old guys in the Maori Battalion".
"They didn't have university degrees and they weren't rich," he said.
"Them going all the way over to Europe, just sacrificing everything they had including their lives, just so people like me could, nearly 100 years later, go to university ... they're an inspiration for me."
Wairarapa MP Alastair Scott said he was pleased to meet Mr Ammunson at Parliament this week when he was announced as one of the five winners of the scholarship.
"I was told that Herewini has a strong and impressive academic record," Mr Scott said.
"This is an achievement he should be very proud of, I'm sure his whanau are very proud of him. I want to congratulate Herewini on his commitment to not only his studies, but to the organisations he has been volunteering for.
"It's great to see our local young adults stepping up to support their communities.
"These kind of young leaders will inspire others to do the same and will lead by example.
"I can't wait to see what Herewini gets involved in over the next few years and where he goes in his academic and work life."
Mr Ammunson said that when he graduated from university he would like to work for a law firm and "give back to my tribe, my iwi and my Papawai Marae in Greytown".