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(L-R) Una Drayton, Christopher Bailey, Thomas Verry

TLC scholarship recipients announced

5 October 2022

Three exceptional year 13 students have been awarded The Line Company’s (TLC) highly sought-after Inspiring Local Minds Scholarship.


This is the fifth year of TLC’s programme designed to support school leavers to pursue tertiary studies or trade training linked to skills required by the electricity distribution business.

Chief Executive Mike Fox says there’s an ongoing need to develop talent throughout the King Country, Central Plateau and Ruapehu District.

“We’re focused on providing support and training programmes to help bring a qualified workforce through in the future, not only for our business, but for the region as well,” says Fox.

“Our scholarship programme provides valuable financial support to help with the cost of gaining those qualifications, and we’re really proud to grant these scholarships as a helping hand.”

Each scholarship is worth $2,000 for each year of study for a maximum of three years, going a long way to help local rangatahi on their tertiary education journey.

The 2023 scholarship recipients Una Drayton (Ohakune), Thomas Verry (Te Kūiti), and Christopher Bailey (Te Kūiti) were part of a seven strong short list, from a total pool of 15 applicants.

Ruapehu College Head Girl, Una Drayton, plans on studying a Bachelor of Engineering with Honours at the University of Canterbury. Her academic record, involvement in the school council, and initiative which saw her establish a school recycling programme were contributing factors in her receiving the award. Una ultimately wants to become a Power Engineer and showed a great deal of interest in TLC’s future for renewable energy resources.

Te Kūiti born Thomas Verry also plans on heading to the University of Canterbury, studying a Bachelor of Commerce with a double major in marketing and economics. The Head Prefect and House Captain at Hamilton Boys High School’s Argyle House is on-track for NCEA level 3 endorsement with excellence. Getting a head start on his tertiary study, this year Thomas commenced a STAR course at the University of Waikato, completing a first-year paper on leadership and communication.

Christopher Bailey is an avid sportsman often playing hockey at men’s level. The Te Kūiti High School Student plans on studying at the University of Auckland, where he’ll enrol in the Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) programme. A house leader, environmental leader, and school council representative – Christopher aims to return to the King Country once he’s qualified. He believes engineers are a very important part of the community.

The selection panel included TLC Chief Executive Mike Fox, Waitomo Energy Services Customer Trust (WESCT) Trustee Cathy Prendergast, and TLC Customer & Community Engagement Manager Anne Terry.

Cathy Prendergast said WESCT is once again very pleased to be involved in the interview and selection process.

“WESCT take an active interest in the community by supporting TLC initiatives like this,” says Prendergast.

“Being on the panel has once again demonstrated the high calibre of students we have in the region. It was a very rewarding experience meeting so many outstanding school leavers. Their passion for the region and wanting to make a positive difference in the community reflects our own values.

“We will follow their progress with interest and look forward to welcoming them back to the King Country in the not-too-distant future.”

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