Functions of the Foundation
The Board of Trustees of the Maori Education Foundation consists of a chairman, being the trustee appointed by the Governor-General, and seven other trustees, namely, the Director of Education, the Secretary of Maori Affairs, an officer in the Department of Education, a Maori member of Parliament, and nominees of the New Zealand Maori Council of Tribal Executives, the Dominion Executive of the Maori Women's Welfare League, and the Minister of Maori Affairs. The Foundation is a body corporate. One of its main functions is to apply its funds to the education and training of Maoris by the establishment, equipping, and maintenance of schools, the majority of whose pupils are Maoris, and by financially assisting schools where Maoris are receiving education. It may make grants to bodies formed for the promotion of Maori education and for encouraging the Maori people to appreciate the advantages of better education. It may provide bursaries and scholarships to assist Maoris to attend post-primary schools and universities and to undertake postgraduate study. Another function of the Board is to provide special research or study grants and grants for vocational training, as well as books, clothing, and other equipment for the holders of bursaries, scholarships, and grants. Any assistance from the Foundation is, however, additional to the existing facilities for the education of Maori youth.
The Foundation movement to raise funds was launched on 26 March 1962 with the sum of £125,000 from the Government which in addition agreed to subsidise donations £1 for £1. A network of district and local committees for the whole country was set up, the co-chairman of each district being a mayor or deputy mayor of a town or city within the district together with a prominent Maori citizen.
At the end of 1963 the Foundation life membership stood at 3,000 and the capital funds at about £640,000. Over a thousand applications for assistance had been received, and £34,000 disbursed to over 400 students on the basis of the merits and needs of each case. The majority of awards have been made to post-primary-school students, to others in widely varying vocational fields, and to about 50 university students.
by John Sidney Gully, M.A., DIP.N.Z.L.S., Assistant Chief Librarian, General Assembly Library, Wellington.