Scholarship helps to take the stress out of study

16:00, Mar 12 2014

A high-achieving Hawera academic credits some of her success to the financial assistance given to her by the Parininihi ki Waitotara (PKW) Trust.

In 2011, Acushla O'Carroll received a three-year scholarship from the trust which helped fund her PhD study completed last year through Massey University. She will graduate in May.

Her study examined how Maori engage with social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter and the impact this has on Maori society.

Now based in Auckland, Miss O'Carroll, who is of Ngaruahine Rangi, Ngati Ruanui and Te Atiawa descent, said when she applied for the grant she needed to explain how her study would be of benefit to Taranaki.

"I think there should be some reciprocation there," she said.

Born and raised in Hawera, Miss O'Carroll said the PKW grant was especially important to her as it linked her back to her where she came from.


"It's from home," she said.

She said the scholarship and other assistance she had received over the course of her study, which included a seven-week stint in the United States last year after she was awarded a Fulbright-Harkness New Zealand Fellowship scholarship, made her study less stressful.

"It helped and enhanced my PhD journey," the 30-year-old said.

Just back from an overseas holiday, Miss O'Carroll now wants to launch her own consultancy business.

She is also studying Te Reo this year.

She encouraged anyone who met the scholarship's criteria to apply.

PKW community development manager Allie Hemara-Wahanui said over the years scholarship recipients had brought their skills back to Taranaki and contributed both to their iwi and hapu and the growth of the Taranaki.

She said although dairy farming was PKW's core business, the trust encouraged applications from students of all ages and study disciplines.

Grants range from $400 for part-time students to $7500 for postgraduate students.

Applications close on March 31 and must be completed online.

For more information visit



For individuals only

Applicants must whakapapa to at least one Taranaki iwi

Applicants must be endorsed by a living PKW shareholder

Available to secondary and tertiary students

Applicants must be enrolled with a New Zealand institute

Scholarship recipients must meet the conditions of their award to retain their three-year scholarship.

Taranaki Daily News