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Motu currently funds two scholarships: the Motu Thesis Scholarship for students of Maori descent and the Motu Doctoral Scholarship.

Motu Thesis Scholarship

Applications for the Motu Thesis Scholarship are now open, and will close on 15 December 2014.

Every year, Motu offers a one-year scholarship to a promising university student of Māori descent planning to work on either an Honours or Masters thesis on an applied topic preferably in economics, or some other social science, and preferably using a quantitative methodology. The value of the scholarship is $10,000.

Through this scholarship, we hope to enhance Māori research capacity and encourage students of Māori descent to develop an interest in researching topics relevant to public policy development.

Download the information sheet and application form here; download the form for references here.

The deadline for scholarship applications is in December each year; in 2014 the deadline is 15 December. If you are interested in getting more info on this scholarship, email Isabelle Sin at


Lara Greaves

image of lara greavesThe 2014 recipient was Lara Greaves (Ngāti Kurī, Te Āti Awa, Ngāpuhi). Lara completed her BA and her Honours degree at the University of Auckland. For her honours thesis, she developed a latent class model predicting the demographic characteristics and voting behaviour of swing voters in the New Zealand population.

Lara is completing her Masters degree at the University of Auckland’s School of Psychology. Her research investigates how different aspects of Māori identity provide a protective buffer for the long-term health and wellbeing of Māori, producing quantitative models of Māori mental, physical and financial health.

Lara is the New Zealand Attitude and Values Survey lab manager, and a core member of the management team that runs the NZAVS. Lara has a strong interest in social and political psychology. Lara also has a particular interest in predicting political attitudes and voting behaviour in New Zealand more generally.

Dan Bidois

Dan BidoisThe 2010 recipient is Dan Bidois (Tainui, Ngāti Maniapoto, Te Kauae), from Auckland. Dan completed a BA/BCom in 2006 and a BCom(Hons) in economics in 2007 at the University of Auckland. He has worked as a strategy consultant at Deloitte, and more recently as a researcher at the New Zealand Institute.

Dan is currently studying for a Master in Public Policy degree, specialising in social and economic policy, at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, as a New Zealand Fulbright Scholar.

For his second-year project he will research solutions to address the educational underachievement of indigenous groups.


George Grey

George GrayThe 2008 recipient was George Gray (Ngaiterangi Ngati Ranginui). George wrote his thesis as part of his Masters of Public Health with The University of Auckland.

George wrote his thesis on the costs and benefits of specific cardiology interventions for Maori patients, titled “Implementing Home-based Cardiac Rehabilitation in New Zealand: Projections for the implementation of a home-based cardiac rehabilitation programme to increase participation.” (782KB)

 George lives in Tauranga with his family.


Dale Warburton

Dale WarburtonThe recipient for 2007 was Dale Warburton who has affiliations with Te Atiawa Iwi. Dale completed a BCom/BSc at Victoria University of Wellington in 2005, after which he worked towards his Master of Science.

For his thesis, Dale examined the effect that unpaid work has on employment rates amongst young Maori and non-Maori females. 

Dale is not only a top student, he also plays soccer for Wellington United and volunteers as a mentor for Maori and Pacific Island commerce students at Victoria University.

Read more about Dale and view his publications.


Motu Doctoral Scholarship

The Motu Doctoral Scholarship can be awarded to Motu Research Analysts who have been employed by Motu for at least twelve months and who leave to undertake a highly rated PhD course.

The objective of the award is twofold. It aims to:

  • recognise the recipient’s outstanding contribution while employed at Motu, and
  • encourage the recipient to gain the qualifications needed to become an independent researcher,  and thus continue to build New Zealand’s research capacity.

Previous recipients of the Motu Doctoral Scholarship are Isabelle Sin (Stanford), Melanie Morton (Yale) and Andrew Aitken (University College London).