September 18, 2020
Academic cull sparks Hamilton hikoi
Waikato University is hearing the sound of protest as people turn out to support academics calling out what they call structural racism within the institution.
One of those on this morning’s march, Willie Te Aho, says the university’s plan to fire professors Linda Tuhiwai Smith and Brendan Hokowhitu has enraged other academics and alumni, including a group from Ngāti Porou who came up from the coast for the hīkoi.
He says while the university has brought in Sir Wira Gardiner and former education minister Hekia Parata for an independent review of the complaints, the membership and the terms of the review were set by Vice Chancellor Neil Quigley, rather than through consultation with Māori staff.
"We just need to ensure that this isn't rendered down to a miscommunication issue. This is a systemic institutional racism and to have the response from New Zealand academics and academics across the world is unprecedented and shows the seriousness of this issue," Mr Te Aho says.
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