Whakawhiwhinga ākonga Māori - Scholarships and awards for ākonga Māori

There are many scholarships, grants and awards for ākonga Māori offered by a range of organisations, and we encourage you to apply for as many as you can.

Here at Open Polytechnic | Te Pūkenga we offer the Kua Hii Ake te Ata Study Award aimed at supporting our ākonga Māori. To find out more see the information and links below.


The difference between scholarships, grant and awards: 

  • Scholarships are usually given based on academic criteria and/or in recognition of academic excellence and potential. 
  • Awards or grants can be based on different criteria such as financial need, connection to iwi, study relating to certain areas or industries and so on.  Some may also come with the expectation that you will return to work for the organisation that provides the scholarship or award. 


Tā mātou whakawhiwhinga - Our study award

Kua Hii Ake te Ata Study Award 

We invite our ākonga Māori to apply for the Kua Hii Ake te Ata Study Award, which is aimed at encouraging and supporting ākonga to complete their chosen study. To learn more about the Kua Hii Ake te Ata Study Award including the eligibility information, who to contact if you have questions and find out how and when to apply see: 

Kua Hii Ake te Ata Study Award information 

Tūtakina tētahi o ā mātou kaiwhiwhinga - Meet one of our scholarship recipients

Amy Isaacs (Ngāpuhi), received the Kua Hii Ake te Ata Study Award when she studied for her Graduate Diploma in Strategic Management (Level 7). Learn more about Amy's story and how the award helped ease her study journey by clicking on the heading below.

Following her passion

After working full-time for many years, Amy Isaacs (Ngāpuhi) reached a point in her life where she wanted to make a change, and do something for herself that she enjoyed.

Amy Isaacs

Graduate Diploma in Strategic Management
New Zealand Diploma in Library and Information Studies (Level 5)

Community library volunteer


Ētahi whakawhiwhinga kē atu - Other awards and scholarships we offer 

We also offer other scholarships and awards in the other areas for:

  • Pasifika
  • disabled learners
  • those studying environment and business.  

Scholarships, awards and financial assistance

It also includes links to other websites and databases of scholarships and awards, see: 

External scholarships and awards 


Ngā huarahi kē atu - Other pathways for assistance

There are also a range of scholarships and grants available from other organisations. You can find some of these on the sites linked to below. All links in this section will open in a new tab.

Careers NZ – Scholarships for Māori learners

Kia Ora Hauora - scholarships to support ākonga into health careers

Ministry of Education scholarships and financial help - this page includes a range of information

Toitū Kaupapa Māori Mātauranga (Māori Education Trust) - offers undergraduate, post graduate and other scholarships. 


TIP – Remember to read the terms and information of the scholarship or award carefully to ensure you applying for the one that best aligns with your study and your journey. This information will also confirm details and documents you will need for your application. 


Te tuku tono - Submitting an application

Applying for awards and scholarships can be a lot of work and time involved. Here are some tips to help you on your search. When you find an award or scholarship you want to apply for:

  • Check you meet the eligibility criteria. 
  • Make sure you understand what the funding organisation is trying to achieve with their award or scholarship. This will help you tailor your application to show how you could contribute to their goals. 
  • Check when you need to have your application in by and give yourself plenty of time to write your application and get everything you need to send in with it.

Getting letters of tautoko (support) always helps. If you are applying for trust or iwi/hapū/whānau awards or scholarships, having a character reference or a letter from your kaumātua kuia are deemed appropriate.

Tip - Most awards and scholarships have a checklist, so make sure you check everything is there. Peer review can also be helpful to ensure you have everything you need to support your application.  

Kaiwawao - Referees or advocates

If you need to supply references, contact your referees early and let them know what scholarship you are applying for. This will give them time to write your references or prepare them in case they get contacted.


Iwi scholarships

Many iwi (tribes), hapū (sub-tribes), whānau trusts, hapori (community) and waka or rohe have scholarships or grants available to support their uri (descendants) in their study.

Each will have their own specific criteria, so we suggest that you contact your affiliated iwi rūnanga (tribal authority) to check what is needed.  

The links below are potential leads to help you in your search (all links open a new tab). Note - these links are to scholarships that we were able to find, so may not be a full list of all iwi, hapū, whānau trust, hapori and waka or rohe scholarships that are available. If you know of any not in this list, feel free to contact us to help us keep this page up to date for our ākonga - customerservices@openpolytechnic.ac.nz.

Hauraki Maori Trust board scholarships

Ngā Puhi education scholarships 

Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō education grants

Ngāti Koata Trust grants and scholarships

Ngāti Kuia Tertiary education grants

Ngāti Kuri - Merimeri Penfold Education Trust

Ngāti Maru - Maru Ora Charitable Trust education scholarship

Ngāti Mutunga education grants

Ngati Porou tertiary education grants

Ngāti Raukawa education grants

Ngāti Tama ki Te Waipounamu Trust grants and scholarships

Ngātiwai Trust Board (check under 'Education')

Ngāti Whakaue Education Endowment Trust Board

Rangitāne scholarships

Tapuwae Roa (Formerly known as Te Pūtea Whakatupu)

Taranaki Iwi Education Grants

Te Aitanga ā Māhaki – Maru Whakatipua Scholarship Programme

Te Ātiawa grants

Te Āti Te Āti Hau Trust grants and scholarships

Te Kotahitanga o Te Atiawa Trust scholarships

Te Rarawa scholarships

Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu Kā Pūtea scholarships

Te Rūnanga o Ngai Takoto education grants and scholarships

Te Rūnanga o Ngati Manawa Charitable Trust

Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangatira grants

Tūwharetoa Māori Trust Board education grants

Waikato Taunui scholarships and grants

Waitaha  (check under Putea Maturanga)