Colliers property students win housing scholarships

Two property students who work for Colliers International have been awarded the first ever Housing New Zealand property scholarships.

Vernon Sequeira (left) and Alex Saifiti (right), who are Bachelor of Property and Commerce students at the University of Auckland, were awarded the scholarships at the university's Department of Property annual dinner last night.

The scholarships are designed to help foster future talent and awareness of opportunities in the public housing sector.

Sequeira, in his fifth year of study towards a Master of Property degree, works part time at Colliers International. He says the scholarship will help him embark on a research project into New Zealand public housing.

Last year Sequeira was part of a team that travelled to the United States to compete in the USC Marshall International Property Case Competitions. He has previously won the Blair Hargreaves/Colliers International Scholarship.

Saifiti, a fourth year student, works at Colliers International as a research assistant.

He has worked on the Port Hills Residential Red Zone project with Land Information New Zealand, and was recently a pro bono consultant for the charity Garden to Table.

He has previously won the Paul Kelly Undergraduate Scholarship and Ngai Tahu Holdings Corporation’s Matakahi Scholarship, did a summer internship with ASB Bank’s Maori Financial Solutions team, and has run six half marathons.

The winning scholarship students will each receive $5000 a year to offset their study fees. They will also be offered the opportunity of paid part-time work at Housing New Zealand during their studies.

Patrick Dougherty (centre), Housing New Zealand’s General Manager Asset Development, interviewed four candidates before awarding the scholarships to Sequeira and Saifiti.

“The scholarship aims to encourage excellence in the study of property and to support those seeking careers in development or project management within the public housing sector,” Dougherty says.

“The calibre of the winning candidates is exceptional and we hope they’ll come to learn more about our business and develop solutions that’ll help Housing New Zealand turn future challenges into opportunities.”

Three other Colliers International staff received honourable mentions at the awards dinner last night.

Industrial Sales and Leasing Executive Assistant Scott Pardington was a runner-up in the Department of Property's Emerging Talent Award.

Country and Lifestyle Broker Wyatt Johnston and Hotels Property Analyst Eilish Hurley received mentions for their involvement on the Auckland Land Economic Society (ALES) committee.

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