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University of Otago Māori and Pacific Peoples' Entrance Scholarships

Students studying on the grass
Number OfferedVaries
Opening date1 July
Closing date15 August


Established by the University of Otago in 2005 to celebrate academic excellence and cultural diversity, these scholarships are intended to encourage the progression of Māori and indigenous Pacific Peoples' into tertiary study.

Applicants must:

  • be of Māori descent and/or have indigenous Pacific Island ancestry*
  • have completed Year 12 and have completed, or are in the process of completing, Year 13 at a New Zealand school
  • be intending to enrol, or are enrolled for full time study at the University of Otago for the first time in the year following the closing date
  • submit, during the application process, a typed essay of no more than 500 words describing: a) the applicant’s involvement with the Māori and/or Pacific Peoples’ communities; and b) the benefit that will be gained from being awarded a Māori and Pacific Peoples’ Scholarship. A template is available here.
  • pre-arrange a referee from the senior leadership team at the applicant’s school who is able to comment on the applicant’s eligibility and suitability for the scholarship (contact information for this referee will be required during the application process)
  • pre-arrange a referee from an appropriate community member who is able to comment on the applicant’s eligibility and suitability for the scholarship (contact information for this referee will be required during the application process)

Selection of recipients

The Selection Committee shall consist of the Director, Māori Development, in the chair, a member of the Scholarships Committee, the Director, Pacific Development, the Dean of Te Tumu, School of Māori, Pacific and Indigenous Studies, and the Managers of the Māori Centre and the Pacific Islands Centre, and the Manager, Undergraduate Entrance Scholarships, or their nominees. The selection committee shall consider the following factors in recommending the awarding of the scholarships:

  • Academic ability (NCEA Level 2 with an overall merit commendation, or equivalent, is recommended in order to be competitive for these scholarships)
  • Demonstrated involvement in the applicant’s community
  • Potential and motivation to succeed at University
  • In making an award, the Committee may also give consideration to the circumstances of the applicant, and the quality of the supporting essay provided.

Scholarship value and tenure

  1. One year tenure
  2. $10,000 for year 1.
  3. The University of Otago Dux Scholarship may be held concurrently at the value of $2,000

* Please complete the  Maori or indigenous Pacific form the to the best of your ability at time of application (you will be asked to upload this form during the online process). If you are successful in being awarded a University of Otago Māori and Pacific Peoples’ Entrance Scholarship, where being Māori or having indigenous Pacific ancestry is an eligibility requirement, this form may need to be completed to confirm your eligibility before you will be awarded any payment. The form for those who whakapapa Māori is here. The form for those who have indigenous Pacific ancestry is here.

Please note that you will be required to go through the first stages of enrolment at the University of Otago to access the scholarship application process. Apply now.