> Skip to content

News  •  14 March 2021

 

Whitireia student wins inaugural Māori and Pasifika scholarship from publisher Penguin Random House NZ

Wellingtonian Luke Finnigan has been awarded the first ever Māori and Pasifika Publishing Scholarship thanks to a collaboration with Whitireia Community Polytechnic and Penguin Random House New Zealand (PRH).

The scholarship offers funding for a Māori or Pasifika student to study the Graduate Diploma in Publishing at Whitireia. It also includes travel to the Penguin Random House head office in Auckland twice a year for hands-on experience in Aotearoa’s biggest local and international publishing house.

The NZ Māori and Pasifika scholarship was created in 2020 to reduce barriers to equity, and encourage diversity and inclusivity in publishing in Aotearoa.

Luke, who identifies as NZ Māori of Te Aitanga-a-Māhaki, has worked in the book and literary industry for the past 10 years, including as Festival Coordinator for VERB Wellington (formerly LitCrawl) and working at Unity Books in Wellington.

Luke says: “This scholarship provides me with an amazing entry to the publishing industry in New Zealand. I am honoured to have been awarded this scholarship and I am very excited for the year of study ahead. Doors like this don’t open often so I will be making the most of everything I can!”

Head of Publishing at PRH Claire Murdoch says: “We were lucky to receive a number of strong applications from talented and eligible people, confirming the need for a scholarship like this one, but Luke’s was a true standout. He’ll be able to apply what he learns at Whitireia and in the office with use to any number of future pathways in our industry. I’m also interested in how PRH and the wider industry might learn from his own ideas on inclusivity and diversity in published work in NZ.”

“While representation of Māori and Pasifika in NZ publishing is growing, I feel that it is too often categorised as solely ‘indigenous’,” Luke says. “While this is also important, I would like to see cultural ideals incorporated in New Zealand literature in such ways that push these ideals into the forefront, to normalise and educate in a way that is more accessible. I want more readers to learn and enjoy the rich heritage that is present but too often overlooked.”

Senior publishing tutor at Whitireia Odessa Owens says, “This is an exciting partnership with industry. Our course is a gateway into publishing, so we’re committed to supporting and celebrating diversity.”

More info here: Penguin Random House Māori and Pasifika Publishing Scholarship

More features

See all
News
Penguin Random House NZ announces new scholarship in partnership with Whitireia!

In partnership with the Graduate Diploma in Publishing at Whitireia Community Polytechnic Ltd, Penguin Random House New Zealand is delighted to announce a new publishing scholarship for Māori and Pasifika students.

News
A Promised Land, by Barack Obama, to be published in New Zealand on 18 November

The presidential memoirs of Barack Obama, the 44th president of the United States, will be published in two volumes.

News
NEW CHELSEA WINTER BOOK COMING 29 SEPTEMBER 2020

Epic plant-based comfort food for everyone...with gluten-free options for just about everything.

News
Michelle Obama documentary, Becoming, released on 6 May

Netflix have announced a new documentary following Michelle Obama during the publication of her bestselling memoir, Becoming, which will be released on Wednesday 6 May.

News
Penguin Random House New Zealand open licence: online story time and read-aloud videos and live events

Penguin Random House New Zealand believes that all children should have access to books and stories and be encouraged to develop a love of reading.

News
Atwood, Evaristo: joint Booker winners

Penguin Random House authors Margaret Atwood and Bernardine Evaristo share the 2019 Booker Prize.

News
Gavin Bishop wins 2019 Prime Minister’s Awards for Literary Achievement

Multi-talented illustrator and children’s writer, Gavin Bishop (Ngāti Pukeko, Ngāti Awa, Ngāti Mahuta, Tainui) has will be honoured for non-fiction and his outstanding contribution to New Zealand literature. 

News
Announcing the 2019 Booker shortlist

Winners to be announced Monday 14 October.

News
The Chestnut Man to become Netflix Original series

We were thrilled to hear Netflix announce its second Danish original series, The Chestnut Man, at Copenhagen TV Festival this week.

News
Vale Toni Morrison

February 18, 1931 – August 5, 2019

News
Cover and publication details for Philip Pullman’s The Secret Commonwealth revealed

Further details about the publication of Philip Pullman’s highly-anticipated new book, The Secret Commonwealth, are revealed today. 

News
Puffin grants – recipients announced!

Earlier this year, as part of Puffin’s upcoming 80th Anniversary Celebrations, Penguin Random House NZ offered to fund bookseller initiatives to get kids reading, to the value of $5000 each.

Looking for more news?

See all news