August 24, 2018
Māori faculty axing inconsistent with treaty pledge
The Quality Public Education Coalition is questioning changes to Waikato University’s Māori faculty.
In an open letter to former prime minister Jim Bolger, the university’s chancellor, and vice-chancellor Neil Quigley, the coalition said the new divisional structure threatens the autonomy of the Faculty of Māori and Indigenous Studies by making it a school within Arts, Social Sciences and Law.
That’s despite the university’s state strategy to build teaching, research and strategic relationships with iwi and Maori communities, particularly with the Māori King, Waikato Tainui and the other iwi of the Kingitanga.
Coalition chair David Cooke asked how the proposal is consistent with the University's commitment to uphold the Treaty of Waitangi, notably the principle of tino rangatiratanga, and consistent with an active partnership with mana whenua?
He says the faculty is significant not just for Māori but for non-Māori and indigenous peoples in Aotearoa NZ and elsewhere, providing knowledge, world-views and resources that enhance diversity in a world that faces increasing division and factionalism.
Dr Cooke compared the process to the catastrophic moves at Unitec, which resulted in the dissolution of Māori and Pasifika units and resources.
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