September 07, 2020
University on Maori land – deal with it
One of the academics challenging the University of Waikato over systemic and casual racism says a review of their allegations is an opportunity for long-overdue change.
Waikato has called in Sir Wira Gardiner and Hekia Parata to assess the claims made by staff including professors Linda Tuhiwai Smith and Pou Temara.
Professor Smith says universities are full of smart people, but that doesn’t mean they are able to recognise their racism and deal with it.
She says the review is just a beginning of what needs to be a wider dialogue.
"What we want are these institutions to begin to address at quite deep levels what it means to be located on Māori land? What does it mean to be situated in Aotearoa New Zealand with the history we have? What does it mean for what we teach? What does it mean for the way we teach, for our research, for the way mātauranga Māori is incorporated into what we do?" Professor Smith says.
She says because of the coronavirus pandemic universities have lost income from international students, so it’s time for them to focus on home.