2024 Te Atawhai o Te Ao Scholarships and Community Writers Awards are now closed

You are invited to apply for the 2024 He Pounga Waihoe scholarship and community writers awards. The scholarships are available for Māori Master’s and doctoral students, and the writers awards are available for Māori community writers.


The purpose of the scholarships and writers awards is to support and contribute to our research programme at Te Atawhai o Te Ao, ‘He Pounga Waihoe nā ō Mātua’. This rerenga waiata translates to the water which is displaced by the paddle of our ancestors. It acknowledges that the decisions of our ancestors to create a forward motion, require consistent effort that ripple and impact all aspects of life. More importantly, the work we do now, impacts our whānau now and into the future. This research programme recognises that in order for action to be initiated and momentum to be maintained that advances whānau health and well-being, we need to draw on traditional knowledge as we navigate through unchartered waters. The programme proposes five overall research projects, based on Whanganui whakataukī that align with our research priorities for the next seven years:

  1. Wairua: Spiritual nourishment and reciprocity
  2. Waiata: Cultural recovery and prosperity
  3. Waiora: Environmental well-being and enhancement
  4. Waimāori: Social resilience and identity
  5. Waipuna: Physical health and body sovereignty

Previous applicants

All previous applicants and awardees are required to complete a new application, to ensure your study and writing objectives align with our research programme and eligibility section.

Value of the awards

The value of the awards are as follows:

  • Community writers awards at $5,000 each
  • Masters and PhD scholarships ranging from $5,000 – $10,000 each

The writers awards are set at $5,000 each per recipient. The number of scholarship awards will be determined according to the relevance of your study to our research programme, and how far you are in to your study. Number of awards are dependent on application numbers.

Successful candidates

Successful scholarship recipients:

  • Will be required to deliver one formal presentation to researchers, staff and the community of Te Atawhai o Te Ao (for example, at a Tā Te Rangatira Kai Monthly Seminar);
  • Will be required to attend the 2024 He Pounga Waihoe Symposium in Whanganui, in June 2024 (date to be confirmed), to present and officially receive the award (recipients will receive a first payment upon acceptance of the scholarship, i.e. before June 2024);
  • Will be involved with, and actively contribute to, a Māori postgraduate support group;
  • May also be invited to contribute to any project publications and dissemination material; and
  • May also be offered training, support and other research opportunities.

Successful community writers recipients will be required to:

  • Carry out the writing of a paper to an outline agreed by you and the Director and/or delegate of Te Atawhai o Te Ao. The paper will be in the area of our research programme ‘He Pounga Waihoe’
  • Deliver one formal presentation on the paper that you have written to researchers and staff of Te Atawhai o Te Ao and our community (for example, at a Tā Te Rangatira Kai Monthly Seminar)
  • Attend the 2024 He Pounga Waihoe Symposium in Whanganui, in June 2024 (date to be confirmed), to present and officially receive the award (recipients will receive a first payment upon acceptance of the award, i.e. before June 2024);
  • Agree to Te Atawhai o Te Ao publishing the paper you write, along with other papers written for the He Pounga Waihoe nā ō Mātua research programme. Te Atawhai o Te Ao will cover the costs and resources required to publish your paper.


  • Eligibility for the scholarships and writers awards are also based on how closely it matches to our five research priorities under our programme, He Pounga Waihoe nā ō Mātua:
    • Wairua: Spiritual nourishment and reciprocity. Whānau health and well-being is underpinned and sustained by spiritual connotations, often connected to atua and the environment
    • Waiata: Cultural recovery and prosperity. Whānau identity is deeply rooted in cultural tenets influenced by the environment, and addressing intergenerational trauma requires holistic, innovative, culturally appropriate methods of recovery and healing
    • Waiora: Environmental well-being and enhancement. Whānau well-being and the natural environment are interconnected. Efforts that enhance the environment will lead to better health outcomes for whānau who are recovering from intergenerational trauma.
    • Waimāori: Social resilience and identity. Whānau-led recovery must be cognisant of contemporary challenges that impact on whānau resilience and identity, and there are multiple influencers that can work collaboratively to support whānau in achieving their aspirations
    • Waipuna: Physical health and body sovereignty. Whānau view health holistically, requiring equilibrium to be established across spiritual, cultural, emotional and physical domains. Physical health from a whānau perspective includes recognising the importance of our traditions where bodies have mana and tapu,
  • Other eligibility criteria include:
    • You must be a New Zealand Māori.
    • You must be enrolled in a Master’s or doctoral programme (scholarship applicants) or have evidence of writing (writers award applicants).
    • You agree to complete the ‘He Pounga Waihoe’ programme evaluation.
    • Applications will also be considered from students registered at a NZQA and/or other formally recognised trades or arts programme, studying Māori whānau health and well-being.

Important dates

  • Applications open: Friday 8th March 2024
  • Applications close: 5pm Monday 8th April 2024
  • Applicants advised of outcome: Monday 13th May 2024

Successful applicants to attend, present and officially receive the award at He Pounga Waihoe Symposium, Whanganui, in June 2024.

Assessment criteria

The Assessment Panel will consider the applications according to the following criteria:

  • The overall quality of the application;
  • The applicant’s achievements;
  • The applicant’s involvement in te ao Māori;
  • The applicant’s future career/study aspirations; and
  • The relevance of the applicant’s study to the research of Māori intergenerational trauma and recovery.

Please note that, the Assessment Panel’s decisions is final – no correspondence will be entered into.