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Horomia gets a chance to save Maori students

Horomia gets a chance to save Maori students

“The Minister of Maori Affairs Hon Parekura Horomia has one shot to make it right,” says Keith Clark, President of Aotearoa Tertiary Students Association (ATSA).

The Minister of Maori Affairs attended Te Hui Tauira - the National Maori Student Hui - that was called to discuss serious Maori student loan & retention issues. Horomia spoke at the opening of the Hui and emphasized the need for solutions when addressing these issues. The Minister agreed to listen to the problems and solutions as proposed by ATSA Hui participants.

The three-day Hui concluded in Napier on Sunday. Student leaders, Maori students and representatives from tertiary institutions, the government and education sector unions attended the Hui.

Key issues identified were:

- Maori student debt is at unacceptable levels and climbing exponentially.

- The tertiary education system is culturally unsafe for Maori students;

- Maori students are set up to fail in the existing tertiary educational environment.

“These factors contribute to an institution’s inability to retain Maori students in tertiary education,” said Clark.

ATSA will be answering the Minster’s challenge and will put forward proposed solutions over the coming month.

A strong message to the minister is that Tikanga and Te Reo are a birthright and Maori should not have to pay to learn their own culture and language.

Research was shown to Te Hui Tauira participants that demonstrated that the tertiary education system is unfair and unacceptable to Maori.

“The situation of Maori Students is bad and is going to get worse. Maori leaders need to make themselves aware of these problems faced by Maori. This government is currently not doing enough. ATSA is committed to seeking a political solution.”


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