Associate Minister of Education Hon Aupito William Sio has announced the ‘Tulī Takes Flight’ scholarships for our Pacific whānau as a means to help further their education
The ‘Tulī Takes Flight’ scholarships will be available for New Zealand citizens of Pasifika heritage. To mark the inaugural year, thirty scholarships will be available for study commencing 2022. In subsequent years, up to twelve will be available annually for academic and vocational study and training. The scholarships will be available for a minimum of one year and maximum of three, and are each valued between $10,000 to $30,000. These scholarships will be funded by the Ministry of Education and administered by the Pacific Education Foundation.
The Ministry of Education states that the ‘Tulī Takes Flight’ scholarships acknowledge the ‘ongoing importance of education’ within Pasifika families and communities. Associate Minister of Education Apuito William Sio added that extending one’s education unlocks numerous opportunities for Pacific peoples, and the scholarships highlight the governments need to support and grow Pacific education, capability and capacity.
On August 1st, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern gave a formal apology, on behalf of the New Zealand Government, to the Pacific communities of Aotearoa and beyond for the intergenerational trauma and pain caused by the Dawn Raids of the 1970s.
Signed in by then Prime Minister Norman Kirk and carried on by PM Rob Muldoon, the raids represent a significant low point in the Crown-Pasifika relationship. Arden delivered the apology to a crowd of over one thousand people at the Auckland Town Hall, and understood that mere apologies were not enough. Now, as a gesture of goodwill and reconciliation, the government has funded $2.1 million for the creation of the Tulī Takes Flight’ scholarships.
The name of said scholarships comes from the Tulī, the species of bird also known as the Kūaka in Te Reo Māori, and the Godwit in English. It has one of the greatest migration journeys of any living creature, flying around 22,000 kilometres non-stop from Aotearoa to Alaska. The sheer resilience and determination of the Tulī in its journey is said to be symbolic of Pasifika people as aspirational and determined to succeed.
Apuito William Sio states that he encourages Pacific peoples aged 18 and over to consider applying to advance their academic aspirations. The Minister adds that these scholarships ‘will act as an inspirational and cautionary reminder of a dark episode in Aotearoa’s past’.
The first round of applications for 2022 open in September 2021. More information can be found on the Ministry of Education website.