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Wananga CEO Responds to Call to Step Down

December 7 2005

Wânanga CEO Responds to Call to Step Down

Te Wânanga o Aotearoa CEO, Rongo Wetere, said although he respects Tertiary Education Minister Dr Michael Cullen's call for him to consider stepping down, it is not a matter for politicians to decide.

"Since its release, the Auditor General's report has become swamped with politics. While I respect that Dr Cullen has the right to his opinion, issues surrounding my employment will be determined by the council of Te Wânanga o Aotearoa.

"There are doubts about the legality of the current downsized five member council that has a majority of three government appointed officials on it. There are no representatives from staff or students as required by law, or local kaumâtua or iwi. The Education Act clearly states that these groups need to be included on the council of a wânanga for it to be legal.

"When the council is no longer dominated and controlled by Government appointees, we will be able to sit down and have constructive discussions about the issue of my employment and the future of the Wânanga.

"I am open to having meetings and further discussions with the aim of getting a positive outcome for the Wânanga, the staff and students.

"This is not about me. It is about securing the future of an institution that has so much to offer to people who would otherwise not have access to education."

ENDS

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