Christchurch Scoop

AMP People’s Choice Scholarship for Ngai Tahu choreographer

Press Release – AMP

31 October 2014

Ngai Tahu choreographer receives AMP People’s Choice Scholarship

Artistic director, choreographer and show producer, Tanemahuta Gray (Ngai Tahu) is the recipient of the AMP People’s Choice Scholarship, receiving $10,000.

By offering open applications for a Scholarship publically via the AMP Facebook page, the AMP People’s Choice Scholarship offers everyday Kiwis the opportunity to turn their passion and dreams into a reality. Fellow Facebook users can then read, share and vote for the person they feel deserves the $10,000 most.

Jeff Ruscoe, Chief Customer Officer at AMP says: “Social media is such a great platform to engage with the millions of New Zealanders that use the internet, as they can see just how passionate people are about doing their thing.”

“With so many worthy and deserving people applying for an AMP People’s Choice Scholarship, we’ve given the casting vote back to the public – and there’s no doubt they’ve chosen a very worthy recipient in Tanemahuta Gray.”

Gray’s passion for dance started at age four when he went to his first kapa haka lesson, later enrolling in ballet classes as a six year old. The NZ School of Dance student went on to dance for an aerial theatre company internationally before returning to New Zealand with a bi-cultural aerial theatre show called “Maui”, which was seen by almost 80,000 New Zealanders. Other credits include being a guest choreographer on WOW – World of Wearable Art Awards.

The scholarship funding will be put towards creating his next show, called “Tiki Taane Mahuta” to present to Christchurch audiences next May, 2015.

Of the upcoming production, Gray says: “It combines a strong narrative with a dynamic fusion of Māori martial arts, contemporary dance, hip hop and aerial theatre to the music of Tiki Taane. The staging also utilises multi-media design by the WOW designers and uses many WOW dancers and crew.”

The aim is for the show to tour around New Zealand in 2016 and internationally in 2017 and onwards.

“I wanted to inspire the people of Christchurch and my Ngai Tahu iwi,” says Gray. “They’ve missed out on so many productions because their theatre venues were badly destroyed in the quakes.”

Jeff adds: “As well as helping people own their tomorrow and achieve their dreams and passions in life, the AMP People’s Choice Scholarship is also about giving the public the opportunity to have a say in where the funds go. This scholarship benefits the wider community, so we want the community to play a part in deciding where that benefit will lie.”

Gray won $10,000 in the AMP People’s Choice Scholarship by receiving the most votes on Facebook – nearly 32,000 votes were recorded across New Zealand for all People’s Choice applicants.

For more information, visit

About AMP:

• AMP is a leading wealth management and insurance provider in the New Zealand marketplace and has been supporting the financial welfare of customers for 160 years
• Our customers hold more than 870,000 investment, savings and insurance products
• AMP has one of the largest networks of advisers in New Zealand
• AMP is the only default KiwiSaver provider with both a ‘silver’ rating from Morningstar and a 5 Star Canstar Award
• AMP has approximately 260,000 KiwiSaver Scheme members and more than $3 billion funds under management, equating to around 14% market share
• We’ve awarded more than $1.8 million in the last 16 years through our AMP Foundation
• In 2013 we:
o helped more than 1,800 kiwis buy their first home through KiwiSaver
o paid out $46.75 million in general insurance claims
o supported approximately 73,000 New Zealanders who were unable to work because of an injury or illness by paying out nearly $9 million in income protection insurance
o wrote $644 million in new mortgages, and
o provided advice over the phone to more than 150,000 New Zealanders – more than 400 people per day.

About ‘Do Your Thing’:

AMP National Scholarships: 11 National Scholarships are available each consisting of one payment of up to a maximum of $10,000. Recipients will be invited to the AMP Scholarships National Awards evening on 4 December
AMP Regional Scholarships: 12 Regional Scholarships are being offered by 11 Adviser Businesses in the AMP Financial Adviser Network. Each will award a scholarship of up to $5,000 to help someone in their region do their thing. AMP will select and provide a top up of up to $5,000 to one of the Regional Scholarship recipients
Study Start Scholarship: is for a Year 12 or 13 student who is aiming to make a positive difference in New Zealand through their field of study or training. The scholarship is worth up to a maximum of $10,000
People’s Choice Scholarship: People’s Choice gives you the opportunity to tell friends, family and colleagues about ‘your thing’ and win their support by getting them to vote through Facebook. The scholarship is worth up to $10,000
AMP People Scholarship: is for AMP employees and Advisers in the AMP Financial Adviser Network who want to do their thing. The scholarship is worth up to $5,000.
• Full terms & conditions can be found on


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