8 May 2012

Education grants spread benefits from whanau land

8:59 pm on 8 May 2012

A Taranaki family who 12 years ago began putting some of the income from their dairy farm into a trust - to provide an education fund for their whanau - has won praise from the Maori Trustee.

Owners of the 40-hectare Patiki D block in South Taranaki this year awarded their first scholarships.

One of the fund's trustees, Rita Hughes, says she was blown away by the calibre of the secondary and tertiary students who applied for $500 each, enough to pay for textbooks.

Maori Trustee Jamie Tuuta acknowledges the determination and foresight of Patiki D owners.

He says the owners have thought hard about how to make sure their whenua brings benefit to the whanau, even as the distributions get smaller from one generation to the next.

Mr Tuuta says by supporting education, they are making a lasting contribution to the whole whanau and its future.

A biological sciences degree student, Rebe Burgess, who is in her first year studying at Auckland University is one of the scholarship recipients.

She says getting the scholarship showed her that her whanau believed in her and they want her to do well.