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Maori Students Urged to Vote Compulsory

TE MANA AKONGA (INC.)
National Maori University Students’ Association.
Level 3, 354 Lambton Quay, PO Box 10191, Wellington.
Ph: (04) 4982506 Fax: (04) 4732391 Email: tma.kaituhono@xtra.co.nz


Media Statement – For Immediate Release 13.10.00

Maori Students Urged to Vote Compulsory

Maori students at Waikato University are being urged to vote for Compulsory Membership of Students Associations by Te Mana Akonga (Inc), the National Maori University Students’ Association. A referendum will be held at Waikato University next week to decide whether the university should return back to compulsory student association membership after years of being a voluntary campus.

“Waikato University has been a voluntary campus for too long now”, says Danica Waiti, Kaituuhono for Te Mana Akonga, “As a result, all students are missing out on vital student services. The Waikato Students’ Union has whittled away a substantial amount of assets and funds in order to survive over the years”.

The ability of any Maori roopu or student association to operate within a voluntary campus is seriously limited. Most Maori roopu are able to provide a wide range of services to Maori students however, without compulsory student association membership these services can soon deteriorate.

“Such services under threat can include advocacy, sponsorship of various academic, political, cultural and social activities, and events on campus orientated towards Maori students. Basically the existence of the Maori roopu is threatened.” says Miss Waiti.

“We are urging all Maori students to vote for compulsory status”, says Miss Waiti, “It is unfortunate that it is study break time for upcoming exams, but voting booths will be open on campus from Monday to Wednesday of next week”.

“Student Associations are the voice of the students. Without compulsory membership at Waikato University there will be no student voice. Without student voice there is no rangatiratanga. Maori students must vote for their rangatiratanga, for their voice to be heard”, concludes Miss Waiti.

For further information contact:

Danica Waiti Ph. 04 498 2506 or 021 440 279
Kaituuhono
Te Mana Akonga (Inc).

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