Fri 28 Jun 2019

Three scholars named

Three WITT students share this year’s Sir Māui Pōmare scholarships to be presented tomorrow (Saturday 29-6-19) at Owae Marae.

The scholarships, in honour of a pioneer in Māori health, are available to nursing students at WITT who have Māori heritage

All three recipients this year are Taranaki born, but whakapapa to tribes outside of the province.

Gracyn Meredeth (Ngai Tahu) was granted a full scholarship. The judging panel couldn’t separate Jamie Rowe (Te Āti Haunui-a-Pāpārangi) and Jenna Heu (Tainui) and elected to split the second scholarship award between them.

The three WITT nursing students, who commenced their studies in February, will be at Owae Marae, Waitara, for tomorrow’s annual Sir Māui Pōmare Day celebrations. The scholarships help with their course costs.

All three have followed a winding path before deciding their future was best invested in nursing.

Gracyn previously studied at Otago University and worked as a dental assistant, both Jamie and Jenna started families.

Mum-of-two Jamie gained a Diploma in Travel and Tourism, but like Jenna, who had worked in a bank, was drawn into nursing after completing a Health and Wellbeing course at WITT last year.

The immediate target for the trio is to become registered nurses at the end of their three-year course – and given WITT’s extremely high success rate in nursing, the odds are heavily in their favour.

Māui Pōmare day (Te Ra o Māui Pōmare), a health-themed celebration in honour of Sir Māui Pōmare, is held annually in June, coinciding with the Māori New Year.

Māui Pōmare (Ngati Mutunga) was born in Urenui about 1875. He was a pioneer in seeking to improve Māori health and living conditions and was the first Māori doctor. He was also the Member of Parliament for Western Māori from 1911 to 1930 and served as Health Minister. He died in Los Angeles in 1930 after contracting tuberculosis two years earlier.


Pictured: Jenna Heu, Gracyn Meredith and Jamie Rowe will receive their scholarships at Owae Marae tomorrow.