Agria-Hōaka Scholarship


Te Rangitaki a Te Ranui
Eat noodles, find husband…

After learning thousands of characters, attending hundreds of classes, making dozens of friends from all over the world, travelling to several new places, sitting four exams, and completing two semesters, my time in China is coming to an end.
I remember when I first arrived, thinking about how much I took the small pleasures of home for granted. Things like a clear blue sky, fresh air, the green landscape, being able to see the horizon, the stars at night, how fresh our food generally is, how you can get from one side of town to the other without any hassles, and so on. Now, I find myself thinking similarly about China.

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Te Rangitaki a Te Ranui
Eat noodles, find husband…

I remember when asking locals which places are best to visit to learn about the Chinese jade culture, they directed me south to an area where jade is commonly sold. Not to where you source or those who have the rights to collect it, or even to those who carve, but to where the finished product was sold. Perhaps I was asking the wrong question, used words they were unfamiliar with, or they wanted to protect their industry. In any case, out of the numerous people I asked and countless internet searches, only one person suggested that I go one province south to Hangzhou and Liangzhu.

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Te Rangitaki a Te Ranui
Eat noodles, find husband…

In venturing outside Shanghai I found a new side of China that I had never imagined existed. In all honesty, I don’t know what I expected, but it certainly wasn’t what I discovered. I have now traveled to a few places and have found that each has their own flavour, dialect, and beauty that differentiates them from the next.

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Settling into Shanghai

Ranui Ellison-Collins is one of this year’s recipients of the Agria-Hōaka scholarship. She has moved to Shanghai, China to learn Mandarin. In this clip Ranui provides an update about how her journey is going so far.

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Kā Manukura O Te Reo
A Force of Nature

“The only way our language will survive is by normalising it in everyday life. If you won’t let me speak to you in Māori in the supermarket, you are never going to normalise it, and when your kids want to learn Māori, they are going to have to learn from me because you can’t and I don’t have time for that.”

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China girl

Taima van der Leden has returned to Aotearoa after a year studying in Beijing as the inaugural Agria-Hōaka Scholar. We asked Taima about the highlights of her year.

“I think I’ve gained some real insights into the Chinese culture,” says Taima who was enrolled at the prestigious Tsinghua University, where she studied Mandarin in the humanities and social science department.

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He Tangata
Danni Thian

Danni Thian (Ngāi Tahu), the recipient of the 2014 Agria-Hōaka scholarship, will travel to Beijing in February to spend 12 months studying Mandarin at Tsinghua University. It’s an opportunity she feels fortunate to have. “It’s all surreal,” says Danni, 24, who works as a commercial operations, labour market, and welfare analyst at the Treasury in…

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Scholarship winner bound for China

Danni Thian (Ngāi Tahu – Awarua Rūnanga) is the recipient of this year’s Agria-Hōaka scholarship. In February, she will travel to China and spend 12 months studying Mandarin at the prestigious Tsinghua University in Beijing. Danni, 24, says she feels fortunate to have been given the opportunity to travel to China, next year. “It’s all…

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Scholarship winner bound for China

Taima van der Leden of Ōraka-Aparima (Bates whānau) and Tūhourangi is the first recipient of a new scholarship established by Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu and the Agria Corporation. The first Agria-Hōaka scholarship will enable Tāima to spend the next 12 months studying Mandarin at the prestigious Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. Twenty-year-old Tāima has…

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