Pasifika Health Students Recipients of Inaugural Scholarship at Wintec in Hamilton

Four Pacific health students with a passion for social justice are the recipients of the inaugural Leaupepe Elisapeta Karalus Scholarship at the Waikato Institute of Technology, in Hamilton.

The scholarship shows a commitment from Wintec to create more opportunities for Pasifika learners to study with fewer obstacles.

Ioana Marsters of Cook Islands heritage, Merelita Momo – Fiji, Tia Mihaere – Kiribati and Māori, and Jeremii Lavasi’i – Samoa, are each the recipients of the scholarship that pays for tuition fees to complete a degree in the areas of health and social practice at Wintec.

The value of each award varies but is on average equal to the total sum of $30,000 per annum.

Wintec Chief Executive David Christiansen spoke at the event about the barriers that Pasifika students have and continue to face in the New Zealand education system.  With the introduction of the scholarship, it is just one way that Wintec is working towards equity and better outcomes for its Pasifika students and their communities.

Three of the recipients began their first year of study this year and one student is already part way through their degree.

Applications for the next round of the Leaupepe Elisapeta (Peta) Karalus Scholarship open in June this year.

Image credit: Wintec. The recipients of the inaugural Leaupepe Elisapeta Karalus Scholarship at Wintec (left to right) Wintec Chief Executive David Christiansen, Tia Mihaere, recipient Jeremii Lavasi’i (brother Chris Lavasi’i accepting his award), Ioana Marsters, Merelita Momo and Leaupepe Peta Karalus.