Bob & Joy Owens Scholarship

Bob & Joy Owens Scholarship

Joy and Bob Owens founded the Owens Charitable Trust in 1990 and, in 1993, the Trustees established scholarships at Tauranga Girls' and Tauranga Boys' Colleges. At the time, the scholarship was valued at $2,000 per year for three years for a student who was going on to university or other tertiary education. By 2007, scholarships were in place at five other schools, with the value per student increased.

At the beginning of 2020, the scholarships were renamed The Bob & Joy Owens Scholarships, and administration for the scholarships was taken over by the Acorn Foundation.

The scholarships are awarded annually to students from seven secondary schools in Tauranga who have excelled and shown great work ethic. However, whilst academic ability is important, Bob and Joy Owens were particularly interested in applicants who have a desire to contribute to society and make the world a better place. 

"It is vital that we do not lose our sense of community and volunteering; and service to each other" - Sir Robert Owens.

The general intention is that the scholarship is for university studies, however, the scholarship may also be used for a course of study approved by the Acorn Foundation at any tertiary institution in New Zealand.

The scholarship is now worth $5,000 per student, per year, for three years, and is awarded at the following schools:

  • Aquinas College
  • Bethlehem College
  • Mount Maunganui College
  • Otumoetai College
  • Tauranga Boys' College
  • Tauranga Girls' College
  • Te Puke High School

Applications open at via each school at various times from August onwards. Contact the school principal or Year Dean for more information.

Click here to view a full list of previous Bob & Joy Owens Scholarship winners. 


About Bob & Joy Owens

Bob Owens was prominent in the development of the Port, sitting on the Bay of Plenty Harbour Board for some 25 years, including a term as Chairman. He became a director in the 1990's when the organisation became the Port of Tauranga Ltd. Bob also served on the Tauranga City Council. He and Joy were Mayor and Mayoress for nine years, three of which he also spent as Mayor of the borough of Mount Maunganui.

After 20 years of advocating for a harbour bridge between Tauranga and Mount Maunganui, Bob was delighted to officially open the bridge in 1988.

Bob and Joy gave generously to community events and charities during their business life. They also donated the warrior known as Tangaroa which is a statue that sits just inside the Tauranga Harbour entrance on the Mount Maunganui side.

For their contribution to the community, Bob Owens was awarded the CBE for his services to the transport industry, local Government and the community in 1991. He received a knighthood in the 1997 Queen's Birthday Honours.

In the 2007 New Years Honours, Joy Owens received a QSM for her services to the community.

Bob passed away in 1999 and Joy passed away in 2016. They have four children and a large number of grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Bob & Joy Owens Scholarship

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