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Source: Massey University

Scholarship winner Tracy Maniapoto (on right) with senior lecturer Dr Fiona Te Momo.

A Massey PhD student has earned a prestigious scholarship that will not only support her research but also open access to the treasure trove of taonga held by the Auckland War Memorial Museum Tāmaki Paenga Hira.

Tracy Maniapoto of Ngati Tūwharetoa, Te Atihaunui-a-Pāpārangi and Ngāti Kahungunu ki Te Wairoa, has been awarded the 2020 Sir Hugh Kawharu Scholarship.

Ms Maniapoto is a librarian who has worked within the tertiary and public library sectors along with lecturing and developing library and information studies programmes. 

Her PhD is being done through Massey’s Te Pūtahi-a-Toi School of Māori Knowledge and is part of a Marsden project on the contribution that GLAMs (galleries, libraries, archives and museums) are making to the revitalisation of te reo Māori.

Ms Maniapoto will explore adult second language learners of te reo Māori and their perceptions of the GLAM sector. It is a project that she is very passionate about.

“I’m in the early stages of my own te reo Māori journey so I have a strong personal interest in this research in addition to its potential contribution to the advancement of Māori,”  she says.

She is particularly excited to work with Auckland Museum and its collections to give voice to taonga held there and to listen to the stories those artefacts have to share.

The research fits particularly well with the Sir Hugh Kawharu Scholarship, which is provided by a partnership between the Kawharu Foundation and Auckland Museum. Its purpose is to support and encourage Māori research and leadership, particularly in the field of cultural heritage.

The late Sir Hugh Kawharu established the first Māori Studies Department at Massey University in the early 1970s.