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Labour Promotes Racial Inequities? Again

Labour Promotes Racial Inequities? Again

Friday 16 Jan 2004 Deborah Coddington Press Releases -- Tertiary Education

ACT New Zealand Tertiary Education Spokesman Deborah Coddington today accused the Labour Government of promoting racial inequities by continuing its practice of preferential funding for select ethnic groups in tertiary institutions.

"In an answer to a written Parliamentary Question, Tertiary Education Minister Steve Maharey confirmed tertiary institutions receive up to $145 of extra funding for each Maori and Pacific Island full-time student, under the Government's Special Supplementary Grant scheme," Miss Coddington said.

"The Minister claims the scheme aims to improve education outcomes for Maori and Pacific Islanders, by improving retention and participation rates. This is a laudable objective, but such a scheme should be colourblind, and help address achievement barriers for all groups.

"Targeted funding must be based on students' needs, not their ethnicity. This scheme provides an unjustifiable financial incentive for tertiary institutions to enrol Maori, regardless of their financial circumstances.

"ACT believes all students should have equal access to tertiary education regardless of race - that includes abolishing racial quotas that exist in some courses. They should be given equal support by the Government - whether they choose to study at a public, or private, institution," Miss Coddington said.


For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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