September 20, 2020
Maori answer to university shortfall
Former Alliance leader Sandra Lee-Vercoe is asking why the University of Waikato is axing Māori staff rather than embracing the prospect of filling its halls with Māori students.
There was a protest at the university on Friday in support of academics who have lodged complaints about systemic racism – including not renewing the contracts of some of the country’s most eminent Māori scholars.
Ms. Lee-Vercoe says the cuts come at a time when universities are complaining they are empty because overseas students can’t get into the country.
"What a wonderful opportunity to put our Māori rangatahi through those halls. Let the lecturers turn up to work and let our children who haven't had a chance get in those doors to show good faith. Wouldn't that be wonderful in this age of coronavirus to say it's not a problem? Let's get the people who haven't had enough opportunity to get there, tangata whenua, get in the door," she says.
Sandra Lee-Vercoe says universities need to address the historic injustice to Māori in the education system.
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