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Four young Māori will receive prestigious scholarships and internships to further their studies in accounting - a profession where Māori are significantly under-represented despite significant growth in the industry.
Each year, Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ) and the Ngā Kaitatau Māori o Aotearoa (National Māori Accountants Network - NKMoA) provide scholarships to bring more Māori into accounting.
The four students were awarded the accounting scholarships to honour their academic excellence and strong community focus.
The scholarship winners attended the NKMoA Hui on 14-15 July in Rotorua, and were awarded their scholarships at the conference dinner.
"These scholarships are aimed at empowering Māori students to become leaders and shapers of business and finance," says Peter Vial, CA ANZ's New Zealand Country Head. "Currently Māori are significantly under-represented in the accounting profession. The scholarships and internships are about addressing that and increasing the number of Māori who choose an accounting career."
He added, "Accounting is personally rewarding and also allows you to contribute to business and the economy – good reasons why young people enter our profession. The other thing accounting does is put you at the centre of your community, so we need accounting and accountants to be more representative of that community. The scholarships are part of that."
Joshua Munro from the University of Auckland, and Warren Walker from the University of Otago, shared the CA ANZ Ngā Raumanako Māori Scholarship, worth $5000 over two years.
Warren Walker also won an internship with one of NKMoA’s Accounting Collaboration Partners (ACPs) - PriceWaterhouseCoopers, EY Tahi, BDO, Deloitte, or KPMG.
"I see this as an opportunity to contribute to the growth of Māori economic development here and be part of the local support network that maintains and strengthens the development of Māori accountants," says Walker.
"It is such a privilege to receive such a prestigious award and be part of this wonderful effort to encourage and support Māori to enter the world of accountancy," says Munro. "In the future, I hope to encourage others to pursue accounting as a career and be able to provide the same opportunities that I was fortunate to have."
Ariana Adams from the University of Waikato, and Yonder Munday from the Eastern Institute of Technology, shared the CA ANZ Ngā Kaitatau Māori o Aotearoa Susan Spencer Scholarship, worth $6,000. "I was very honoured to be recognised by those who I strive to become," says Adams."Receiving this means so much to me, and my whanau, hapu and iwi. It shows my kids they should never give up, and with hard work and perseverance you can achieve what you desire."
"My future plan is to become a qualified Chartered Accountant. I want to assist and guide Māori organisations to ensure they make the right financial decisions," says Munday.
Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand represents 117,000 financial professionals across both countries.
The National Māori Accountants Network's mission is to help Māori excel in commerce and contribute to their successful economic development.