Indigenous Legends Scholarship







*All scholarships have been awarded for 2023.*



Yoobee Colleges is proud to introduce the Indigenous Legends Scholarship, the scholarship will help to promote more Maori and Pasifika to pursue a career in the Creative Industry be it as a Graphic Designer, Animator, Game Developer or any of the roles that the industry offers.

All Yoobee Colleges will be offering one (1) scholarship. 

  • Auckland Campus (Auckland CBD, North Shore)

  • Wellington Campus

  • Christchurch Campus

  • Online Campus


The Indigenous Legends Scholarship is a premier Maori and Pasifika scholarship, that supports high achieving Maori and Pasifika people that are looking at starting a career in the Creative Industries. It enables recipients to excel and is for those with strengths in these three key pillars:

1. Strong attachment to their culture

2. High academic achievement

3. Passion to create/design

Recipients will be supported during their studies with industry trained tutors as well as extensive support staff that have a lot of experience in their respective fields. 


To be eligible for the Indigenous Legends Scholarship applicants must first meet all of the following requirements.

1. Be of Maori or Pasifika descent 

2. Be over the age of 16

3. Be a New Zealand citizen

The Selection Panel will also take into account the applicant’s willingness and ability to fully participate in, and contribute to, the Indigenous Legends programme.


We invite you to create for us a submission that has a traditional cultural element.

Your job is to think outside the square and submit a design, animation (hand-drawn or digital), short video or series of photographs.

Your submission must contain traditional cultural elements.

The scholarship entitles the winner to a one-year, fully-paid scholarship to a programme offered by Yoobee Colleges. 

The scholarship cannot be redeemed for cash or transferred to another person. Should the winners be eligible for their first year free under the FEES FREE policy, the scholarship will transfer to cover the second year of study at Yoobee Colleges. 

What you need to do:

  • Create your submission.

  • Begin an application for one of our programs by filling in the form below

Once your application is received, we’ll be in touch to request a couple more things:

  • A letter/email from you telling us your story, your interest in our programme and why we should pick YOU!

  • A reference (someone to tell us how awesome you are at your chosen field).

Any questions and submissions to:

Closed for February 2024 intakes on the 31st December 2023


Hakopa Ririnui, February’s Rotorua Indigenous Legends Scholarship Winner

Hakopa Ririnui is our most recent recipient of our Indigenous Legends Scholarship at our Rotorua Campus.

A descendant of Ngāi te Rangi and Ngāti Ranginui iwi from Tauranga, 24-year-old Hakopa Ririnui says he is a passionate advocate for his whanau and people, and he wants to see more Māori youth moving into creative study.

Hakopa has a passion to express the korero spoken on the marae in a visual form through animation and digital art for the younger generations.

“In the past five years, I have been learning Te Reo alongside my parents. This study really helped me understand and become more connected to my culture and language. From this, I have become ambitious to create art and creative work that represents my culture and its stories.”

Creativity has always been in Hakopa’s veins. He grew up in a hardworking family mainly immersed in sports and rugby, and is the only child of six to have taken an interest in the creative field.

“I’ve always loved art and growing up I spent every free minute I had creating art – I just wasn’t sure where it could take me in terms of a career.”  

Moving into full-time work straight out of high school Hakopa found he had less and less time to spend on his art.

“Year on year I felt like I was burying my talents in the ground and it didn’t feel right. With this scholarship, I can now take the leap of faith and turn my passion into a career.”

Hakopa submitted a Matariki inspired 2D design as part of his scholarship entry and Jo McCormick, Campus Team Leader at Yoobee Colleges Rotorua says Hakopa’s talent and passion was immediately clear.  

When I first met with Hakopa, it was hard not to be impressed with his art, but what impressed me, even more, was his personality and his passion towards his art and culture. His application was supported by a letter from his Kaumatua and his Matariki inspired submission was unanimously chosen by the scholarship panel.”




“I have always loved creating digital art and characters from my imagination with many influences, but it would be amazing to learn how to put my 2D drawings into motion and I feel like Yoobee Colleges will be the best place to do this. When I applied for this scholarship I was very inspired when I saw artwork by Lee Tawhai on the Yoobee Colleges website – I have never seen this anywhere else.”








Our friendly course advisors can help with everything you need to know including an outline of study options, key information about enrolment, and all our campuses spread around New Zealand.