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Tohu Kahurangi – University of Canterbury Blues’ Awards


Since  1913  the  University  of  Canterbury  Students’  Association  (UCSA)  has  recognised students who excel in chosen activities outside the classroom.

Traditionally, Blues were awarded for achieving a high level of sporting and academic standards, and as such are named after the traditional sporting competitions between two original ‘Blues’, Oxford and Cambridge.

In  2017,  the  UCSA  in  association  with  Te  Whare  Wānanga  o  Waitaha  University  of Canterbury (UC) developed the traditional sports focused event into an all-round awards night celebrating a broader scope of student success. The event now consists of the Sport, Community Engagement and Arts & Culture categories.

In 2022, With support from Te Waka Pākākano, the University of Canterbury Blues awards were renamed, Tohu Kahurangi. In addition to being known as ‘blue’ in reo Māori, this name also recognises the value and importance of one of the most precious forms of pounamu – kahurangi. The UCSA commissioned Morgan Mathews-Hale (Kaitiaki Studios) to design a new logo. Crafted in the shape of a wahaika pounamu, it symbolises the rarity and value of the taonga (award) as well as the importance of each award winners journey to success. The form of the manaia represents kaitiakitanga, guardianship, and acknowledges both the whakapapa of award winners and their responsibility to continue creating positive change for themselves and in their communities.

In 2017, UCSA added the Arts & Culture category (alongside the Community Engagement category to the existing Sports Blues) to celebrate a broader scope of student success here at the University of Canterbury

If you are a current UC student creating, performing or supporting the arts at an exceptional level then you are encouraged to submit an application here:


Our key arts categories are:

  • Dance
  • Debating or Oration
  • Digital Arts
  • Film and TV
  • Fine Arts, Architecture & Design
  • Kapa Haka
  • Literature, Writing and Media
  • Music
  • Performing arts (onstage/offstage)
  • Service to the Arts (Administration, Production etc)
  • Electronic music

Applications close September 6.



Please fill up the form and submit.