Scholarships awarded to improve a fairer justice system for Maori

Benjamin Morgan, recipient of the Borrin Foundation Fellowship, intends to focus on the intersection between criminal law and Indigenous politics, technology, and law.

Two men have won scholarships to pursue post-graduate studies in law at a New Zealand university or an overseas institution.

This follows a request to increase Maori to positions of influence to improve outcomes and create mana-enhancing strategies for the justice system.

The Borrin Foundation Philanthropic Fund was established by a former High Court Justice to support legal research, education and scholarship to serve a fairer Aotearoa.

The Foundation’s current strategic areas are the criminal justice system, family law and access to civil justice.

They partnered with Ngā Pae te Māramatanga, New Zealand’s Maori Research Center of Excellence, and were able to award $160,000 to Benjamin Morgan (Ngāti Awa, Te Patuwai) and Zachary Katene (Ngāti Toarangatira, Ngāti Tūwharetoa) .

Morgan is a former police officer who currently holds a Bachelor of Arts in Politics and Criminology, and is also expected to complete his Bachelor of Laws in June 2022. Morgan is the co-treasurer of Te Rākau Ture (Maori Law Students Association) and a mentor. for Maori law students at the University of Auckland.

He intends to focus on the intersection of criminal law and politics, technology, and Indigenous law at a university in the United States.

He draws inspiration from vehicles of change such as Te Ao Marama and hopes to add his voice to the development of a mana-enhancing justice system in Aotearoa, New Zealand.

“I want to help create a justice system in Aotearoa that is empathetic and where Te Ao Māori informs practices at all levels,” Morgan said.

“I want to use my experiences to drive positive change and create a future where my whānau can trust that the justice system will treat them fairly and with respect.”

Zachary Katene, father of four children and recipient of the Borrin Foundation scholarship.  Katene is passionate about Maori governance and economics.
Zachary Katene, father of four children and recipient of the Borrin Foundation scholarship. Katene is passionate about Maori governance and economics.

Katene, a father of four, is pursuing a Master of Laws in Corporate Governance and Practice at Stanford Law School in California, USA.

In 2017, he graduated from the University of Waikato with a Bachelor of Management Studies (Hons) and a Bachelor of Laws (Hons), and began his legal career in the Auckland office of Simpson Grierson.

Katene learned about the growth of the Maori economy and the business opportunities it can create for Maori. He sees the need for greater expertise in governance and leadership within Maori-owned businesses to take full advantage of these opportunities.

“Prosperous and well-run businesses owned by whānau, iwi or hapu are one of the fastest ways to achieve whānau welfare, due to the direct benefits of employment, income and the training they provide. said Katene.

“I want to advance the goal of ‘Ko te Māori e arataki ana ia Aotearoa ki te ao kei mua’ – Maori leading Maori into the future.”

The Borrin Foundation previously funded Professor Jacinta Ruru of Otago Law School, an expert in Maori and Indigenous Tikanga law.

The next round of applications for the Borrin Foundation Women’s Legal Leaders Fellowship, Community Law Fellowships, and Borrin Foundation Travel and Learning Fellowships will open on March 21, 2022 and will will end on April 26.