September 28, 2020
Word choice waters down racism complaint
A Waikato University academic is disappointed at a report dismissing claims by Māori staff of casual and systemic racism.
Consultants Sir Harawira Gardiner and Hekia Parata said claims made in a whistleblower complaint to the Education Ministry were incorrect, inaccurate, or reflect differing perspectives or opinions.
Clinical psychologist Dr Waikaremoana Waitoki, who is leading an international study on racial oppression and inequality, says the report ran against the weight of submissions.
"Using words like 'structural inequities' and 'discrimination' really watered down what we were saying. It is racist and there is a lot of evidence to show there is racism," she says.
Dr Waitoki says she hopes a taskforce coming out of the report, to be co-chaired by Professors Linda Tuhiwai Smith and Alister Jones, can address some of the underlying problems that led to the complaint.
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