Jasmax scholarship growing indigenous voices in New Zealand architecture

We would like to congratulate the 2022 recipient of the annual Jasmax Architecture Scholarship for Māori and Pacific Students, Te Hekenga Hiwa Piahana (Hiwa). The scholarship is awarded to students enrolling in the first year of a Bachelor of Architectural Studies at Waipapa Taumata Rau University of Auckland and is worth $5,000 per annum for up to five years.

The main purpose of the scholarship is to encourage and support Māori and Pacific students to study architecture at the University of Auckland. The scholarship is reflective of Jasmax’s belief that growing indigenous voices within the architecture industry is essential. Alongside financial support, Hiwa will be offered a two-week internship at Jasmax for each year of her study.

Jasmax CEO Sjoerd Post says: “At Jasmax we believe that the Tiriti o Waitangi between mana whenua and tangata tiriti offers a powerful opportunity to create architecture and design that is unique to Aotearoa. Supporting students through their architecture degree and into practice is an important way Jasmax can contribute to greater numbers of indigenous practitioners entering the industry.”

Hiwa (Ngati Tamatera, Pukenga, Ngati Ranginui, Tainui) attended Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o ngā Maungarongo. She says it is inspiring to see more opportunities for Māori and Pacific students, and to be a part of it.

“I taku Māoritanga hei wahine nō taiohi, ko taku whakapono nui, mā te kairangi i te ao Māori i te ao o mātauranga hoki, me paiheretia e manawa rū ai koe i tō tūranga hei rangatira mō te apōpō. Pēnei i te whakaataata, e wawatahia ana kia whakaata taku umanga i tōku ahurea tuakiri, i tōku taiao, i tōku iwi, otirā, i tōku rohe. As a young Māori woman, I believe that excellence in te ao Māori, combined with academic excellence, must be interwoven to stand strong in your responsibility as a Rangatira of tomorrow. Like a mirror, I aspire for my future career as an architect to reflect my cultural presence, my space, my people, my area.”

Jasmax has a long commitment to bicultural design excellence. In 2015 the practice set up an in-house incubation unit, Waka Māia, to provide an authentically Māori design voice within Jasmax. Led by Principal and University of Auckland alumni, Elisapeta Heta, Waka Māia contributes significantly to the bicultural design direction of the practice, both in projects and in shaping Jasmax’s values.

Head of the School of Architecture and Planning at the University of Auckland, Dr Lee Beattie, says the scholarship supports and encourages students to widen their horizons and embrace innovative thinking and design, building a springboard to help them shape their future and all of ours. “Students of today will be designing buildings that will be standing in the 22nd century.”

This is the third year the Jasmax Architecture Scholarship for Māori and Pacific Students has been offered.

Principal and Kaihautū Whaihanga Elisapeta Heta with Te Hekenga Hiwa Piahana