Motu currently funds two scholarships:

  • the Motu Thesis Scholarship for students of Māori descent, and
  • the Motu Doctoral Scholarship.

The Motu Research and Education Foundation also offers a cash prize for the top economics undergraduate student in New Zealand. The Frank Holmes Prize is awarded every year in October and is only available by nomination by university heads of department. 

Sir Frank Holmes Prize

In recognising Sir Frank Holmes as one of New Zealand’s pre-eminent Economists and his contribution to the development of public policy over many decades, the Motu Research and Education Foundation provide an economics scholarship for New Zealand’s top economics undergraduate student every year – The Sir Frank Holmes Prize. Sir Frank Holmes agreed to give his name to this scholarship shortly before he passed away in October 2011. The purpose of the prize is to encourage top quantitative economics student to further their studies in econometrics at graduate level. The prize will be awarded to a top student, who is moving on to honours or masters level studies in economics, including econometrics. The prize is not open for applications and is decided through nominations by university lecturers.

Past winners include:

  • 2017 - Livvy Mitchell, Auckland University of Technology
  • 2016 - Ben Davies, University of Canterbury
  • 2015 - Chris Purdie, University of Otago
  • 2014 - Wilbur Townsend, Victoria University of Wellington
  • 2013 - Athene Laws, Victoria University of Wellington
  • 2012 - Anna Robinson, University of Otago

Te Pūnaha Matatini

Motu is involved with Te Pūnaha Matatini, which is offering scholarships for PhD students studying a wide variety of subjects. Students will be supervised by Motu staff on three of these projects:

Motu Thesis Scholarship

We are currently examining the Motu Thesis Scholarship and how best to enhance Māori research capacity and encourage students of Māori descent to develop an interest in researching topics relevant to public policy development. 

Past recipient: Hautahi Kingi

The 2016 Motu Thesis Scholarship recipient was Hautahi Kingi (Nga Rauru, Te Atihaunui a Paparangi) a PhD candidate in economics at Cornell University in the United States. Mr Kingi has two elements to his research, one around immigration and the other looking into tax and consumption. You can read more about Hautahi here.

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 objectives are 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

Previous recipients of the Motu Doctoral Scholarship are Isabelle Sin (Stanford), Melanie Morton (Yale), Andrew Aitken (University College London), Simon Anastasiadis (Stanford), Alex Olssen (MIT), Athene Laws (Cambridge) and Sean Hyland (Chicago).