September 09, 2020
Med school threat sign of success envy
A leading Māori academic says moves to limit a Māori and Pacific recruitment scheme at the University of Otago medical school is a sign of success envy by the university mainstream.
Without input from senior Māori and Pacific staff, the university tabled a proposal that its Māori Entry Pathway be limited to 56 students a year.
University of Waikato Professor of Māori and indigenous studies Linda Tuhiwai Smith says it shows Otago’s Mirror on Society policy, which aims to create a health workforce that better reflects New Zealand society, was not embedded in the system and has to be constantly fought for.
She says it’s a victim of its own success.
"It's almost success envy. When Māori are successful, our programmes get stripped down. It seems we are only allowed to function as long as we are pathetic and the moment we start to achieve, that is used as an argument to pull the plug," Professor Tuhiwai Smith says.
Professor Smith says successful programmes will have a strong kaupapa Māori base and Maori staff, and that infrastructure gets pulled apart whenever programmes are killed.
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