Rotorua student Te Ao Leach has been awarded $20,000 worth of mentoring and education services.

The Rotorua Girls' High School student was one of five recipients of the Te Ara a Kupe Beaton Scholarship at a ceremony on Sunday.

The scholarship supports Māori high school students to gain admissions to top global universities.

Each student will receive personalised mentoring and education services worth $20,000 to help them apply for and get accepted into their dream university.


Leach is the deputy head girl at Rotorua Girls' High and was the Dux of Year 12 last year.

She is a member of the 2016 and 2018 Raukura Kapa Haka team which won back-to-back secondary school kapa haka national titles. At the One Chance Youth Awards she won the Most Awesome Youth category.

Leach told the Rotorua Daily Post she was surprised but humbled.

"When I received it I was thankful and humbled. I felt so privileged to be in the same position as those before me.

"This will help me get the marks I'm looking at because that's my mentality. That I have to strive for excellence. I'll be getting mentoring from the best."

Leach said the awards ceremony was overwhelming.

"To be in a room with so much talent ... It's amazing to see the future of what our rangatahi are capable of."

Leach wants to pursue commerce and law at the University of Auckland. She also is a basketballer.


The scholarship is gifted by Crimson Education. It's chief executive Jamie Beaton founded the scholarship programme last year.

"The Te Ara a Kupe Beaton Scholarship is an opportunity to celebrate Māori high school students who are exceptional leaders, academics, innovators and community members.

"The 2018 scholarship winners each demonstrate incredible grit, self-motivation and a willingness to make a positive impact for the Māori community, and on the world stage.

The other winners were Year 13 student Adelaide Campbell of Spotswood College, Year 11 student Isabella Miriama Ngaire Ashby of Western Springs College, Year 12 student Anais Magner of Aquinas College and Year 13 student Adam King of Mt Roskill Grammar School.