Māori Party candidate for Te Tai Tonga, Tākuta Ferris & Waiariki candidate, Rawiri Waititi believe institutional racism within the education system is holding this nation back.
“This week has highlighted the second pandemic taking hold of this nation, the pandemic of racism in Aotearoa - but particularly in the Aotearoa education system” said Te Tai Tonga candidate, Tākuta Ferris.
The University of Otago is considering imposing caps on the amount of Māori and Pacifica admissions to its Medical school, whilst the Ministry of Education has been presented with a 13-page letter outlining concerns of racist behaviour towards staff, and plans to abolish the faculty of Māori studies at Waikato University.
“The cap on the amount of Māori & Pacifica admissions to medical school would be disastrous for a health system that already struggles to cater for Māori. Māori entry pathways at the University of Otago were supposed to promote more Māori in the health workforce – now it seems like Otago are backtracking on their word” said Ferris.
Rawiri Waititi, candidate for Waiariki said “Waikato Universities proposal to move Māori Studies under Social Science is a breach of equity in this country. Under Te Tiriti, we deserve to have our own standalone faculty, equity in staffing, senior management and resourcing”.
“The prevalence of racism in education is not only limited to the tertiary level, but also in how education is funded, with a $11.3-million dollar fund recently injected into a private Green school, when Kura Kaupapa in Ōtautahi have been waiting since the Christchurch earthquake” said Ferris.
“Education reform is long overdue in Aotearoa and the Māori Party will ensure that reformed education models are based on the values that Māori medium kura currently hold. We must fund and resource these reformed models to ensure that we eradicate racism in education. Anything less is a disservice to Aotearoa and the future of this nation” said Tākuta Ferris.