Committed to Coast communities – Gisborne Herald

Published December 30, 2020 1:57PM

Six outstanding East Coast rangatahi are the first recipients of Rua Bioscience undergraduate scholarships.

The scholarship programme is focused on students who have completed schooling in Tairawhiti and forms a key part of the company’s commitment to supporting East Coast communities to build their capability towards a sustainable local economy.

Rua Bioscience co-founders Manu Caddie and Panapa Ehau led the scholarship search, seeking advice from school leaders from Uawa to Wharekahika.

“This was our first opportunity to award the new scholarships and it’s been a privilege to connect with our school communities to learn more about the aspirations of our rangatahi and celebrate their achievements this year,” Mr Ehau said.

“In time we might focus our scholarships on science, technology, business and engineering students, but we can see the benefits of hospitality, tourism, paramedicine and even te reo for our company and our communities.”

Rua Bioscience has a focus on delivering social and economic impact on the East Coast.

Chief executive officer Rob Mitchell says encouraging the potential of local rangatahi is a priority.

“With these scholarships we’ve found an outstanding group of young people who have demonstrated a commitment to making transformational change in their own way, in their own communities. We’re really proud to play a small part in their journey.”

The company has committed $50,000 in the current financial year towards supporting local capability development and hopes to work with other local organisations willing to invest back into the region.

Other initiatives include career guides for students, work experience and school visits by Rua Bioscience staff, working with hapu on resource management issues, investigating community-owned electricity generation and other initiatives.

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Rua Bioscience will further develop its undergraduate scholarship programme with input from Te Tairawhiti schools, businesses and community leaders in 2021.

Rua Bioscience scholarship winners —

Paenoa Pahuru-Huriwai (Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Kawakawa Mai Tawhiti) is an aspiring paramedic who is to start a Bachelor of Health Science (Paramedic) at Whitireia.

Tiana Whatarau (Ngata Memorial College) is on a mission to establish a hospitality venture on the East Coast. Her first step is the completion of the two-year Diploma in Hospitality Management at Queenstown Resort College in Paihia.

Hunaara Waerehu (Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Te Waiu o Ngati Porou) is heading to the University of Auckland to complete a Bachelor of Commerce (Finance and Accounting), hoping to return to contribute to the Rua kaupapa.

Heneriata Whangapirita-Bishop (Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Te Waiu o Ngati Porou) is planning a career in Tourism, taking on the Certificate in Tourism Operations at Queenstown Resort College in Paihia.

Beritane Milner (Tolaga Bay Area School) will fulfil his childhood dream, embarking on a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Canterbury, and ultimately hoping to head home to open a workshop on the Coast.

Te Keepa Wanoa (Te Waha o Rerekohu Area School), who hopes to work in airline operations and marketing, is to do a Certificate in Tourism Operations at Queenstown Resort College in Paihia.

GIVING BACK: Recipients of the inaugural Rua Bioscience scholarships meet with the Rua team. From left are Rua Bioscience co-founder and director Panapa Ehau, kairahi community development coordinator Darylene Rogers, Te Keepa Wanoa of Te Waha o Rerekohu Area School, Heneriata Whangapirita-Bishop of Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Te Waiu o Ngati Porou, Hunaara Waerehu of Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Te Waiu o Ngati Porou, Paenoa Pahuru-Huriwai of Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Kawakawa Mai Tawhiti, Beritane Milner of Tolaga Bay Area School, Tiana Whatarau of Ngata Memorial College and Rua Bioscience chief executive Rob Mitchell. Picture by Waiotemarama Parata-Haua.

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