Announcing the recipients of the 2024 BDO Sir Henare Ngata Scholarship for Māori accounting students

Announcing the recipients of the 2024 BDO Sir Henare Ngata Scholarship for Māori accounting students

As we prepare to celebrate Matariki and welcome in the Māori New Year, BDO New Zealand is delighted to announce the recipients of the 2024 BDO Sir Henare Ngata Scholarship, supporting a new generation of Māori accountants.

Rosie Owles (Wellington), Christian Kearns (Waikato) and Connor Mitchell (Christchurch) will each join a BDO office across the motu and receive financial assistance for study-related costs, registration for Ngā Kaitatau Māori o Aotearoa hui, and dedicated mentorship through their BDO firms.

Now in its third year, the BDO Sir Henare Ngata Scholarship is for Māori accounting tauira (students) in their penultimate or final year of study, with an aim to support, empower and grow our future generations of Māori accountants.

"We’re proud to support the growth of Māori accounting students through the BDO Sir Henare Ngata Scholarship. We saw great engagement with this year’s scholarship round and had a high-quality candidate group. This made selecting the winners challenging, but I'm pleased with the outcome and really excited to see how our recipients grow and develop with BDO and into the future." - Solomon Dalton, Partner, BDO Northland

Rosie Owles, who will be an intern at BDO Wellington, says she’d love to be a role model to other aspiring wahine Māori accountants.

“I hope to use this opportunity to kickstart a meaningful career and continue Sir Henare Ngata’s legacy by using accounting to help Māori communities.

The financial assistance offered through the BDO Sir Henare Ngata Scholarship will help ease financial pressures and ensure I can focus on studying as I finish my degree. It’s a great opportunity and I’d recommend anyone who’s considering applying to go for it!”

Read more about Rosie’s story here.

Connor Mitchell is excited to kickstart his accounting career and contribute to Māori communities in his graduate role at BDO Christchurch.

“I find Sir Henare Ngata’s life really inspiring – not just his achievements, but how he reorientated his life after WWII and focused on serving his community.

It means a lot to me to receive this scholarship. I hope to play my part in carrying on Sir Henare Ngata’s legacy and continue his advocacy work for Māori communities. The mentorship offered through the scholarship will be instrumental in helping with my long-term career planning and decision-making.”

Read more about Connor’s storyhere.

Chris Kearns is proud to be part of something that highlights the importance of diversity and Māori inclusion, and is looking forward to his graduate role at BDO Auckland.

“I was inspired to apply for the scholarship after reading about its aim to increase the representation of Māori in the accounting profession. Receiving the scholarship will help relieve some of the short-term financial pressure associated with studying, allowing me to focus more on my studies and transition smoothly into the graduate position next year.

Looking to the future, I want to become a chartered accountant and ultimately encourage tauira Māori to pursue further education, whether that’s in accounting or not.”

Read more about Chris’s story here.

About the BDO Sir Henare Ngata Scholarship

Now in its third year, the BDO Sir Henare Ngata Scholarship aims to help address the underrepresentation of Māori within the accounting profession. It provides national scholarships to three talented Māori students in their pursuit to become accountants, while in their final or penultimate year of study.

The scholarship offers $7,500 in financial assistance for study-related costs, an internship or graduate opportunity with a BDO firm, registration and associated costs for the Ngā Kaitatau Māori o Aotearoa hui, and mentorship with BDO. To find out more, click here.