A mother and daughter were two of three recipients to cross the stage at St Faith's Church and awarded a scholarship through the Beverly Anaru Memorial Fund on Tuesday evening.
The scholarships were established by the whānau of the late Beverly Anaru who was a passionate educationalist and dedicated more than 60 years of service to education.
Frances Teinakore-Curtis of Ngāti Pikiao and Ngāti Rongomai was awarded the post-graduate scholarship of $10,000 - the first to receive the award in the three-year history of the fund.
She said she felt lucky and blessed to be a recipient and it would help her PhD research into the cultural impacts the sewage plant near Lake Rotoma will have on the rivers and lakes.
"It is really important for our Te Arawa people to be able to step up to another platform. And this allows this and creates this provision."
However, it was an extra special occasion for Frances who said the point of the night was to watch rangatahi cross the stage as recipients of the scholarship too.
Her daughter Anahera Teinakore-Curtis, who is in her second year of psychology and Māori and indigenous studies at Waikato University, was surprised she was one of the three recipients.
She said the scholarship was a financial help for her and she appreciated it was for Māori.
"It is a lot when we come from whānau that are Māori or Pacifica and we want to be role models for rangatahi."
Third recipient Anipātene Biddle of Ngāti Whakaue is anxiously awaiting the start of her tertiary studies at Auckland University.
"I feel privileged being supported by my people and knowing that they have faith in me."
Already trilingual and undertaking a degree in global and indigenous studies she hopes she will become fluent and travel the world whilst learning from other cultures.
Beverley's husband, Pita Anaru who established the fund, said he and his whānau were proud of what they had achieved and choosing the recipients this year was easy.
"The applicants are outstanding and this is the second time the mother is receiving the scholarship."
The scholarships are available to full-time students who whakapapa back to Te Arawa and who are enrolled at a New Zealand tertiary institute in a NZQA recognised course.
The characteristics sought are
- Te Arawatanga: An active contributor to Te Arawa iwi and/or hapū and have their endorsement
- Te Ao Māori me to Ao Pākehā: Capable, comfortable and skilled to walk in both worlds
- Te Reo me ōna tikanga Māori: Confident in identity and culture