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Maharey condemns Brash attack on universities

Maharey condemns Brash attack on New Zealand universities and professions

Associate Education (Tertiary Education) Minister Steve Maharey is condemning claims by National leader Don Brash that New Zealand universities have lowered their standards to enable Maori students to graduate.

Steve Maharey, who is also a former senior lecturer at Massey University, said he was demanding Dr Brash provide evidence to back his claims, made this evening on One News, because they may lead to employers not hiring Maori staff in the false belied that they have not had to meet the academic standards of other students.

“These latest disgraceful comments come on heels of the completely inaccurate claim last week that Maori are entitled to tangi leave and because of this Dr Brash would not hire Maori if he were an employer. These claims proved to be completely false; Maori are entitled to no more leave than any other New Zealander.

“As Associate Minister I will be contacting all New Zealand universities and asking them for confirmation that they have not lowered their standards for graduation for Maori students.

“I will also be contacting key professional associations and asking them to confirm that their members have all meet the same standards regardless of their ethnicity. This is essential if we are to avoid, for example, people consulting their local doctor and wondering if they have met proper standards if they are Maori.

“New Zealand universities have a proud tradition of open entry. This includes provisional entry for all students aged 20 years and over. Students are required to show that they are able to cope with their coursework before being admitted to a second year. This applies to all students, not just Maori.

“At no time, in any institution, has there been any move to lower the standards a student must achieve in order to complete their qualification and graduate.

“If it can be confirmed that standards have not been lowered Dr Brash must apologise not only to New Zealand’s universities, but also to all Maori graduates since his disgraceful comments may well hurt their chances of getting a job,” Steve Maharey said.

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