Industry and family donors award 36 Whitireia students scholarships to complete their 2021 study

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On Tuesday 30 March, 36 Whitireia students received scholarships from the Whitireia Foundation to assist with their 2021 studies.

The Whitireia Foundation is a volunteer-run trust, established in 1999. They aim to promote knowledge, interest and support for the educational activities of Whitireia students. Donors, which are listed below, are often big industry players who recognise the importance of vocational education as a pathway for New Zealanders into work. 

The scholarships are awarded to students who are achieving in their courses but find themselves in a financial situation which would impact their ability to study, and who showed enthusiasm and willingness to work hard to succeed in their chosen field of study. The majority of scholarships awarded will be used for tuition fees or the materials needed for their course.

Whitireia Foundation scholarship recipients minWhitireia Foundation scholarship recipients

Whitireia Foundation Chair, Kelvin Irvine says, “for many of the recipients, they will be the first in their family to continue on to tertiary education, so having the support of the scholarship and the donor can be a powerful and even life-changing experience.”

Scholarship donors can act as mentors to the students, helping to prepare them for the workforce by working on CVs, practising job interviews and helping them make connections within their industry.

“It is hugely satisfying to be able to help these deserving students so that they can complete the study that they had set out to do, many face or have faced extraordinary challenges and the Foundation provides them with the support they need to gain a qualification which can often mean a pathway to a better outcome for them, and often also their families,” explains Mark Oldershaw, Chief Executive of Whitireia.

Mark Oldershaw CE Kelvin Irvine Foundation Chair Taku Parai Ngati Toa minMark Oldershaw – CE, Kelvin Irvine – Foundation Chair, and Taku Parai – Ngāti Toa.

“The Whitireia Foundation trustees work throughout the year to grow the number of sponsors contributing to the scholarship programme and thus grow the number of scholarships available to prospective students.  This year, the applications process attracted 95 applications and the value of the scholarships totalled close to $78,000.”

Sponsors can choose to donate to students studying a specific course, coming from a certain area, or generally at their own discretion.

“The presentation of the scholarships is really the pinnacle of the year for the Whitireia Foundation,” says Kelvin. “We work really hard to get both the donors and scholarship recipients in the same room so it was wonderful that we had such a strong turnout on Tuesday and to see connections being made between the two groups.”

The Whitireia Foundation would like to acknowledge their generous sponsors:

  • Alpha NZ Ltd 
  • Gee & Hickton Funeral Directors
  • Atareira 
  • Graduate Women Wellington
  • Campbell Family 
  • Kirk-Burnnand Family
  • Compass Health 
  • Maude and Miller
  • Controlled Building Services 
  • Ngāti Toa
  • EFTPOS Vending 
  • Nikau Foundation
  • Elite Services 
  • OCS
  • Ford Sumner Lawyers 
  • Porirua City Council
  • Foster + Melville Architects 
  • Red Wolf Security


Find more information on Whitireia Foundation Scholarships here.