- Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand and Ngā Kaitatau Māori o Aotearoa offer two scholarships a year.
- Whanganui UCOL student Aaron McGregor has won the $5000 Ngā Raumanako Māori Scholarship.
- Lincoln University’s Fiona Pahl has won the $6000 Suzanne Spencer Memorial Māori Scholarship.
A 40-something Whanganui solo dad changing career, and a young woman starting out, have won this year’s Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ) and Ngā Kaitatau Māori o Aotearoa (NKMoA) scholarships.
CA ANZ Māori Sector Manager, Kateriina Selwyn says the $5000 Ngā Raumanako Māori Scholarship of $2500 a year over two years is aimed at all students of Māori descent studying towards a qualification in accounting.
The $6000 Suzanne Spencer Memorial Māori Scholarship at $3000 a year over two years, honours NKMoA's first deputy chair, and is open to wāhine (women) Māori.
"Suzanne Spencer was a CA with Dunedin firm Polson Higgs, and a visionary wāhine Māori who helped establish and build NKMoA through strong leadership and visionary thinking," Kateriina says.
This year's Ngā Raumanako Māori Scholarship winner, Aaron McGregor (Ngā Rauru, Ngati Raukawa ki te Tonga) is completing the New Zealand Diploma in Business (Management and Accounting) at Whanganui UCOL.
A 40-something solo father of three teenagers, Aaron says he viewed being made redundant several years ago from a managerial role as an opportunity to re-set his career.
"I've always loved numbers, even at school as a youngster."
"But there wasn"t always a lot of help there, and at the time I found I had more of an interest in the subject than my teachers."
He ended up drifting away from an accounting path and into years of managerial roles without certification. Redundancy helped him make the decision in 2016 to train as an accountant.
Three years on, he says winning the Scholarship will help him continue studying.
"Although more study will be a challenge financially, and on the home front, the advice from the firms I've been involved with has been for me to do an accounting degree, to get the ticket."
He says early on through his lecturers and mentors he realised the CA Program was the path he should take in terms of better opportunities, and as a sought-after qualification.
"So that's where I'm headed."
I say to other Māori students 'give accounting a go'
Suzanne Spencer Memorial Māori Scholarship
This year's Suzanne Spencer Memorial Māori Scholarship winner, 19 year-old Fiona Pahl (Ngāi Tahu) of Lincoln University, will use the award to help pay her $3500 per semester Bachelor of Commerce fees.
Mid-way through the four-year degree, she says as a Māori Southlander from a farming family she's pleased her degree includes agriculture with professional accounting.
"In some way or another all New Zealand is connected to the primary industries, so being able to understand how that all works will be a benefit not just to me but also, I hope my country.
"It's also beneficial in an agricultural field to have knowledge of holistic Māori views on sustainability.
"I may be able to help farmers understand these ways of thinking and to integrate them into their farming systems so they can farm profitably and sustainably."
Next steps may include post-grad study, with a Masters in Accounting a possibility.
Like Aaron she says she’s noticing more Māori in her classes.
"I say to other Māori students 'give accounting a go'.
"I tell them accounting’s not just numbers. It’s building relationships with people, talking to them, and helping them make important decisions about their families and businesses".
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