Pou Herenga Tangata Award

Supporting rangatahi to communiy leadership

About the award

The Pou Herenga Tangata Award is an annual fund of $25,000 (consisting of five $5,000 awards) that aims to support rangatahi Māori to become our next generation of leaders. Successful recipients will either be rangatahi Māori (aged 16-24) who aspire to serve their community, or organisations that support rangatahi Māori to become leaders in their community.

Applications for the 2023 funding round are now closed. Join our pānui list to be notified of future rounds.


In Te Ao Māori, rangatira are often extolled for their ability to bind people together. In this way, they are likened to a mooring post upon which many waka may tie their lines. Through their steadfast nature and values-driven actions, these pillars bring communities together.

This award recognises the contributions of Norm Dewes to Tapuwae Roa (then Te Pūtea Whakatupu Trust), and to his community. These contributions have taken different forms throughout his close association with the Trust from its conception, as a previous Chair and director of the Trust, and as a staunch advocate for Māori living the urban experience.

Matua Norm has, in his many decades of service to his community, embodied this award. The post to which people bind their mooring ropes, providing stability in unity.


The award’s core purpose is to support rangatahi Māori to deepen their connection and contribution to their community. Awardees must be either:

  • Rangatahi Māori (aged 16-24 years)
    • Who are active in community leadership or aspire to serve their community


  • Organisations that meet the following criteria:
    • Be a non-government organisation, registered charity, marae or hapū group, or collective of Māori individuals who have come together and meet the requirements of this category
    • Meet tier 4 investment criteria (see here)
    • Financially solvent
    • Demonstrated support from their community to deliver, or currently deliver (or propose to develop) kaupapa Māori initiatives that specifically target and support the development of rangatahi Māori to become leaders in their communities
    • Can demonstrate clear outcomes towards creating “future leaders armed with ancient wisdom”

Pou Herenga Tangata Awardees

A Pou Herenga Tangata Awardee will embody and promote the characteristics invoked by the term Pou Herenga Tangata; a pillar that binds people together, within their community, whānau, hapū or social group.

Successful awardees, in addition to the grant, become part of Ngā Auahitūroa – Tapuwae Roa’s Alumni network of over 300 diverse, passionate, and highly talented Māori throughout Aotearoa.

Key information

Required documents

To apply for this scholarship, fill out the online application form and supply the following documents:

  • A short moemoea description providing information on what you or your organisation wishes to achieve with this funding, and the proposed path of achieving these aspirations (max 800 words)

  • A letter of endorsement from a referee
  • A short ‘cover video’ (120 seconds) outlining/illustrating the following:
    • An overview of your kaupapa
    • How you aim to serve your community, and your commitment to them
    • How you will deliver positive outcomes for rangatahi Māori.

Application process and timings

You must complete and submit an online application by 5pm, 16 August 2023

A selection panel will consider applications on their merit against the purpose of the Pou Herenga Tangata Award and Tapuwae Roa’s impact outcomes.

The successful candidate will be notified by 4 September 2023 and announced via Tapuwae Roa’s website and associated social media channels.