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Announcing Sir Hugh Kawharu Scholarship winners

Monday, 7 November 2016

The scholarship and research grant are offered by the Kawharu Foundation, with support from the Ko Tawa Fund, in partnership with Auckland Museum.

The Sir Hugh Kawharu Scholarship - Elisabeth Myers

The $10,000 scholarship is made available to a full-time student of Māori descent with an interest in cultural heritage. This year’s recipient, Lizzy Myers (Ngāti Kura, Ngāpuhi) is currently completing a Ph.D in Marine Ecology and Statistics at Massey University, Albany.

Lizzy Myers, Sir Hugh Kawharu Scholarship winner

Auckland War Memorial Museum - Tamaki Paenga Hira.

“I am incredibly honoured to be a recipient of this award and am determined to make the most of the opportunity it provides,” says Lizzy.

“I’m especially excited to work with the Museum’s extensive collection, which has many of the species I’m interested in.”

Lizzy’s project is aligned with the Museum fish collection, which she will be including in the dataset for analysis.

”We were very impressed by the obvious enthusiasm Lizzy has for science, backed up by strong academic results,” says Chanel Clarke, Auckland Museum’s Curator, Māori.

“Lizzy’s research has the potential to contribute to iwi and mātauranga Māori pertaining to the deep sea, which is exactly the kind of leadership the Museum, and the Kawharu Foundation, were hoping to encourage as a result of this scholarship,” continues Chanel.

Sir Hugh Kawharu Research Grant - Kayreen Riana Tapuke

For the first time this year a Research Grant has been awarded, comprising a $5,000 grant made available to a full-time student of Māori descent with an interest in cultural heritage. The recipient is Kayreen Riana Tapuke (Ngai Tai, Whakatohea, Taranaki, Ngati Porou, Tuhoe).

Kayreen Riana Tapuke, Sir Hugh Kawharu Research Grant recipient

Auckland War Memorial Museum - Tamaki Paenga Hira.

Kayreen, who is completing her Masters in Applied Indigenous Knowledge: He Waka Hiringa, says the Research Grant is an honour and a privilege to accept and she is looking forward to encouraging a knowledge exchange between Auckland Museum and Ngai Tai.

“The aim of my rangahau project is to uplift the healing and wellbeing of the community of Ngai Tai Iwi by adding real value,” says Kayreen.

“My work with the Museum next year will be to, firstly, rangahau and celebrate the Mick Pendergrast collection that relates directly to Torere and Opape, and to rangahau about the soldiers. I feel very positive about rediscovering these taonga at Auckland Museum.”

Auckland Museum Director Roy Clare, comments: “the Museum is an open-handed kaitiaki for taonga of international significance, so we are truly delighted that two such talented scholarship winners will be carrying out research to shed new light, share knowledge and generally support our commitment to re-connecting taonga with communities. We add our warmest congratulations to Lizzy and Kayreen and we gratefully acknowledge the Ko Tawa fund and our ongoing, innovative partnership with the Trustees of the Kawharu Foundation.”

Sir Hugh Kawharu (Ngati Whatua) was an inspirational leader who was involved with Auckland Museum for more than 30 years as a Trust Board member guiding matters affecting Māori and enabling Māori aspirations.

Kawharu Foundation chair, Amokura Kawharu, notes that the awards to Lizzy and Kayreen are fitting legacies to Sir Hugh's work with the Museum. “The Trustees are very pleased to partner with the Museum to support scholars of such a high calibre”, she says.

For further information about Sir Hugh, the Foundation and its objectives, see