RTA Studio Scholarship for Māori Architecture Students
The main purpose of the Scholarship is to encourage Māori high school students to study Architecture at the University of Auckland and to support them throughout their studies.
I grew up in Taranaki and had the privilege of an enriched and diverse childhood in a region rich in Māori history and culture. This childhood experience was formative in my appreciation of this unique place, Aotearoa, that we live in and it was instrumental in my decision to become an architect. I married into the Hotere whanau and have continued to be inspired by my more recent whanau relationships. I studied architecture at University of Auckland School of Architecture and have since been a visiting critic and teacher there in more recent years. RTA Studio has been privileged to be involved in a number of education projects in predominantly Māori communities in Auckland and all over the central North Island. There continues to be a number of challenges facing school leavers when confronted with the decision of whether to continue to study at tertiary level. It is not just a the financial challenge but the challenge of entering a professional world that might be outside any experience of immediate whanau and the ongoing challenges of support and encouragement to continue and complete tertiary studies.
That’s why our scholarship not only provides financial support but also comes with an annual internship at our studio for each of the five years of study, so by the time the student graduates they have a good familiarity with an office and some professional support to bolster their university support. I believe that Aotearoa is under represented by Māori architects and this is a small way that we can contribute to changing that. If this scholarship helps to enable one more Māori architecture student enter Auckland Architecture School each year, then our architectural community and country will be better for it. I encourage everyone who reads this to spread the word of this available assistance into your communities.
Rich Naish, Executive Director and Founder, RTA Studio
Ariana Heslop-Riddell – Ngāti Porou, Ngāi Tahu
Joshua Bork – Ngāi Tahu
Corban Richter – Ngāti Porou, Te Whānau-ā-Apanui