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6 Nov 2023

Community Foundation Awards High Achievers with Scholarships

Eight Wakatipu High School students were recognised for their achievements across sports, arts and community service this week at the annual Wakatipu Community Foundation scholarship awards.

The Kate Moetaua Foundation awarded 5 scholarships across sports and arts, with top sports award going to Mackenzi Jackson who represents NZ in Karate and has already competed at the 2022 Commonwealth Games.  Top arts award went to Mikaela Patterson who competes at a national level in dance, and will be traveling to NZ competitions which are all held in the north island.  The other 3 recipients were Lachlan Boniface (Ice Hockey), Marley King-Smith (Rowing) and Rochelle Tickle (Drama).

All three sports recipients have already represented NZ in their sports and have goals to continue to represent NZ as they work through the age grades.   Rochelle Tickle was the director of the Wakatipu High School drama team that recently won the national Theatrefest competition and is heading to Drama School in Wellington next year.

While Foundation chair Anika Moetaua wasn’t able to attend due to university exam commitments, she joined by video with a congratulatory message for all of the recipients, saying how proud her Mum, the late Kate Moetaua, would be of each of them and their achievements, and would encourage them to keep following their dreams.

On a different scale but just as impressive are the track records of the three Arrowtown Autumn Festival Community Scholarship recipients Ruby Dawson, Zali Vaivers and Zara McRae.

While each student is very active in school volunteering programmes such as STARS peer mentors and student councils, the Arrowtown Autumn Festival Scholarship has a particular focus on service that sits outside the school environment.

Ruby Dawson is a keen mountain biker which also creates many events for her to volunteer at biking

events but Ruby also helps with the marketing of Queenstown Gymnastics club, umpiring at Wakatipu Netball Club, baking for Good Bitches Baking, and tutoring year 9 students in English and Social Studies


Zali Vaivars volunteering includes a youth leader for Girl Guides, the Mountain Bike Club, umpiring for Wakatipu Netball club, and assisting with a youth programme called INSPIRE which aims to boost body image and mental health of our youngsters, and a long list of organisations that have benefited from her fundraising efforts through her role as Community and Service Prefect.


Zara McRae is an Arrowtown volunteering star. From her early days as a Mini Belle to coaching them for their performances, helping out at School fundraisers, volunteering in a leadership role at the Arrowtown Festival, and other events such as Arrowtown Choppers planting days there aren’t many groups Zara hasn’t helped. It’s not just Arrowtown that has benefited from Zara’s support as she also volunteers at ShowBiz Queenstown, and as front of house manager for school productions.


Principal of Wakatipu High School, Oded Nathan, said he was incredibly proud of the achievements of the students who received scholarships and that each student is a great example of the all-round education the school strives to deliver, both academically and in sports, arts and community service.

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