Borrin Foundation announces first-ever Te Pae Tawhiti Scholarship awardees

The scholarship is targeted towards helping law graduates to pursue post-grad law studies

Borrin Foundation announces first-ever Te Pae Tawhiti Scholarship awardees
From left to right: Elise McDowell, Jae Kim, and Amelia Cina

The Michael and Suzanne Borrin Foundation has announced the first-ever recipients of the Te Pae Tawhiti Postgraduate Scholarship.

The scholarship is targeted toward supporting law graduates in their pursuit of postgraduate degrees in law, either at a New Zealand university or overseas, in the face of financial barriers and complex life circumstances. The foundation has allocated an annual fund of $120,000 for awarded scholars.

The inaugural awardees were as follows:

Amelia Cina received $39,500 to facilitate her pursuit of a Master of Laws degree at the University of Geneva/Geneve Graduate Institute in Switzerland. The Borrin Foundation said that her proposed research looks to determine “how alternative methods of dispute resolution can enable SMEs to protect their trade rights.” 

Cina explained that she sought to examine barriers to access to civil justice as “an issue that I care deeply about and that New Zealand lawyers need to be committed to solving if we want law to be a force for good.” 

Jae Kim received $30,000 to pursue a Master of Laws degree by thesis at the University of Auckland.  His proposed research project is centred on examining the nature of privacy rights and interests and “how the law can protect an individual’s privacy, especially data privacy, in the so-called age of surveillance capitalism and the commodification of personal information.”

Kim indicated that he would be focusing full-time on his postgraduate research and eventually work towards a PhD in Law in his intent to shift from private practice to the academe.

Elise McDowell was awarded $35,000 to support her pursuit of a Master of International Human Rights Law degree at the University of Oxford. She said that through her studies, she aims to reduce “the chasm between the rights disabled people ostensibly have and the on-the-ground enforceable reality of these rights.”

According the Borrin Foundation, her interest lies in Aotearoa’s quasi-constitutional framework and its interplay with international human rights instruments in guiding the development of disability rights, legal frameworks and human rights jurisprudence in New Zealand. In line with this, she “wants to contribute to the development and practical application of rights-consistent and mana-enhancing policies and legislation within this framework.”

Cina, Kim, and McDowell were the recipients for the Te Pae Tawhiti Postgraduate Scholarship’s March round. The foundation also took applications for a second August round this year, but it confirmed that effective 2024, applications would only be accepted once a year in the August round.

The Borrin Foundation was launched in 2018 off late judge Ian Borrin’s $38m bequest. The foundation focuses on providing support for legal research, education, and scholarship, particularly in relation to the criminal justice system, family law and access to civil justice.


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