Eligibility criteria

Applications for the 2024 Pacific Health Scholarships are now open 

All of the following circumstances need to apply to you in order to be eligible: 

  • Be of indigenous Pacific Islands descent 
  • Be a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident at the time of the application 
  • be enrolled in a health or disability-related course/qualification 
  • be enrolled at an approved NZQA accredited tertiary provider in New Zealand 
  • provide evidence (passport, birth certificate, reference letter) of indigenous Pacific descent from any of the following islands: Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, Cook Islands, Niue, Tokelau, Fiji, Rotuma, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Kiribati, Tuvalu, Palau, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Wallis and Futuna, Hawaii, French Polynesia, Rapanui (Easter Island). 

If any of the following circumstances apply to you then you are not eligible:  

  • students who qualify for the fees free scheme for the 2024 academic year 
  • students who have been or will be awarded any other scholarship (or scholarships) totalling $2,500 or more for the 2024 academic year contributing towards course fees 
  • sixth year medical students because they receive a sixth-year Medical Trainee Intern Grant 
  • PhD students because the frontline workforce takes priority 


Scholarship payments

The Scholarships will consist of: 

  • up to $10,000 for Medical and Dentistry students 
  • up to $5,000 for nursing, midwifery, allied health and all remaining eligible qualifications (refer to list of eligible qualifications below). 


Tuition fees will be paid directly to your tertiary provider, once you have been approved in a health or disability-related course and Te Whatu Ora receives confirmation of tuition fees from the tertiary provider. 

The Scholarships are a contribution toward tuition fees only. Accommodation costs, course related costs and study leave are not covered by the Scholarships. 

To ensure timely payment of tuition fees, please provide current contact information for your tertiary provider scholarship liaison and Finance department. 

Eligible qualifications

A wide range of medical and health or disability-related courses of varying levels (bachelor, master, certificate, diploma, postgraduate) are eligible for Pacific Health Scholarships, including, but not limited to the courses listed below. You will be able to choose from the full list on the applications portal. You also will be able to specify a medical and health or disability-related course on the online form. 

List of eligible qualifications

List of eligible qualifications

Bachelor of Applied Counselling 

Bachelor of Chiropractic 

Bachelor of Dental Surgery 

Bachelor of Health Sciences – various specialisations 

Bachelor of Health Studies 

Bachelor of Medical Science 

Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery 

Bachelor of Midwifery 

Bachelor of Nursing 

Bachelor of Nutrition 

Bachelor of Occupational Therapy 

Bachelor of Optometry 

Bachelor of Oral Health 

Bachelor of Pharmacy 

Bachelor of Physiotherapy 

Bachelor of Science – various majors 

Bachelor of Speech and Language Therapy 

Certificate in Alcohol and Drugs 

Certificate in Health Promotion 

Certificate in Health Sciences 

Certificate in Health Studies 

Diploma in Childbirth Education 

Diploma in Health Science 

Diploma in Nursing 

Graduate Certificate in Science and Nutrition 

Graduate Diploma in Palliative Care 

Master of Audiology 

Master of Health Practice 

Master of Health Sciences 

Master of Nursing 

Master of Physiotherapy 

Master of Public Health 

Postgraduate Certificate in Health Science 

Postgraduate Diploma in Child Health 

Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Education 

Postgraduate Diploma in Health 

Other (you will be able to specify a medical and health or disability-related course on the online form) 

Application process

All applications must be submitted using the online application form via the applications portal. 

You will receive an email acknowledging your application once it has been submitted. 

Once the application period closes, an Assessment Panel will review all submitted applications. Please allow 3-4 weeks after the closing date for the applications to be processed and reviewed. 

Once the Assessment Panel has finalised its decisions, all applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application via email. 

Tertiary providers will then be notified of successful recipients and Te Whatu Ora and the tertiary provider will coordinate the scholarships payments, with assistance from the recipient if necessary. 

Please ensure you provide a current email address when applying. If your email address changes, please inform Health New Zealand | Te Whatu Ora by emailing pacificscholarships@health.govt.nz. 

How to apply online

Use the online form via the online portal. 

Your application will save automatically in the background. If you want to complete your application over multiple sessions, you can log back into the portal and continue at any point. We also advise that you make a copy of your answers and save them in a Microsoft document. 

Attach an official transcript for tertiary study. If this is not available, then attach a screenshot of your results.  

Ensure your application is complete with all necessary attachments included. 

Late applications will be considered at the discretion of the Assessment Panel. 


Successful applicant’s obligations

Successful applicants will be expected to: 

  • advise Health NZ if they become unable or unwilling to complete the Approved Course for 2024 
  • notify Health NZ prior to making any changes to the Approved Course for 2024, including undertaking any papers that do not contribute towards the approved qualification, or substituting alternative papers for papers included in the Approved Course 
  • advise Health NZ of all other sources of funding received (with the exception of Studylink assistance) 
  • maintain or achieve a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 5 or higher (equivalent to an average B grade or higher) across papers completed in 2024 (or maintain a ‘pass’ mark if completing medical studies) 
  • provide Health NZ with a report on grades for semester 1 and 2. 

Fast track students

Fast track applications are successful recipients who have received a Health NZ scholarship in the most recent scholarship round. To apply as a Fast Track student: 

  • reapply online before the closing date 
  • maintains a GPA of five (B average) and provides Te Whatu Ora with their results. 

If you are having trouble with your application or have any other queries, please contact the Pacific Health Scholarships team at pacificscholarships@health.govt.nz