Ngāti Korokī Kahukura descendant Waitu Ripaki-Tamatea is the first ever recipient of the Heritage protection Scholarship that symbolises the relationship between the New Zealand Transport Agency and Waikato-Tainui
Ripaki-Tamatea, a third-year Archaeology and Te Reo Māori student, has been awarded the $5,000 scholarship that will go towards her study for 2016.
Ripaki-Tamatea is also pursuing other elective papers including Biological Science, Earth Science, Sports Science and Statistics.
The Heritage Protection Scholarship was established at the start of the Huntly Section of the Waikato Expressway and is for tribal members studying archaeology and heritage assessment and planning at a tertiary level.
“As a little kid I was always interested in Greek and Roman mythologies, my parents noticed this and suggested I look at studying anthropology.
When I was at high school I did some work experience with an archaeologist on one of the major local bypasses and it was then that I decided that was what I wanted to do,” she says.
The Transport Agency’s Waikato and Bay of Plenty Regional Director Parekawhia McLean says the Transport Agency is proud to support tribal members to achieve their educational goals.
“The scholarship is an ideal opportunity for students to increase their knowledge and enable them to take an active role in the future planning of projects like the Waikato Expressway,” McLean says.
Ripaki-Tamatea wants to do work on archaeological sites in the Cook Islands after she graduates.