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Maori and Student Debt - Tariana Turia

Maori and Student Debt Tariana Turia, Co-leader, Maori Party

‘The announcement that Maori students now owe more than $1billion in student loans is of great concern to the Maori Party’ said Tariana Turia, co-leader of the Maori Party.

The Mâori Party acknowledges the unacceptable levels of student debt and is committed to addressing the burden of debt on students and their whanau.

‘We are delighted to be working with Te Mana Akonga, National Maori Tertiary Students Association, to discuss workable solutions for a situation of such national significance’.

‘The crisis of financial burden placed on Maori students and their whanau must be faced by policy makers, politicians and planners, if we are serious about their future in our nation’ said Mrs Turia.

‘Front-end investment in tertiary education should enable tangata whenua to continue to achieve high standards of scholarship and intellectual endeavour without being saddled with a life long liability to the state’.

‘To this end, we welcomed the initiative by Te Mana Akonga, to hold a Maori Student Debt Summit today and we will be pleased to work together with other political parties, to discuss debt solutions’ said Mrs Turia today.


Education Policy

1.0 The proposition

We assume that:

As a Country we seek to achieve and maintain for all of our citizens the highest achievable level of wellbeing in all of its aspects;

The Nation is particularly mindful of the wellbeing of the more vulnerable of the two signatories to Te Tiriti o Waitangi/The Treaty of Waitangi, namely, the tangata whenua of this Land;

The tangata whenua are determined to survive and prosper as a people and fulfil their obligations to all of the other citizens of this Country;

As a Nation we seek to be a respected member of the international community.

We believe that

1.5 The better informed and educated are our citizens the higher our chances of fulfilling the Nation’s aspirations.

The Te Tiriti o Waitangi/The Treaty of Waitangi

This document traces its whakapapa from He Whakaputanga o te Rangatiratanga o Nu Tireni/The Declaration of Independence, an understanding consummated in 1835 between King William VI and Mäori, particularly those representing the northern parts of Te Ika a Mäui. It was in the nature of a nation-to-nation arrangement. Subsequently, in 1840, a partnership between kawanatanga and tino rangatiratanga was agreed between the Crown and the Tangata Whenua.

Te Tiriti o Waitangi/The Treaty of Waitangi embodies the principles of two sets of cultural development based on the two signatories, partnership between kawanatanga and tino rangatiratanga and equality of rights and privileges between the citizens associated with the two signatories.

The educational policies of the Mäori Party anticipate the full expression of Te Tiriti o Waitangi/The Treaty of Waitangi.

On education and wellbeing

For the citizens of this Country, being well informed and educated, will include being able to

articulate our aspirations as a Nation and the respective roles of the tangata whenua and of all other citizens in the fulfilment of these;

interpret and explain the Nation’s evolving understanding of Te Tiriti o Waitangi/The Treaty of Waitangi and of its distinctive contribution to our affairs; and,

grow in their understanding of themselves and continue to fulfil the promises and principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi/The Treaty of Waitangi in the midst of changing circumstances within and beyond our shores.

To maximise their contribution to the comprehensive wellbeing of the Nation, our citizens will engage with global intellectual activity in all its forms and locations.

As a Nation we look to having education policies that are

designed to maximise the benefits to the Nation of the resources committed to education; and

As a Nation we demonstrate our willingness to share

intellectual property including systems, content and methodologies that will result in this Country optimising the benefits for the Nation of resources committed to education.

4.0 Educational policies:

4.1 That educational programmes in all fields and at all levels provide for the expression of the values of this Nation, including kaupapa Mäori.

That educational programmes take every opportunity to express the

centrality of the whänau in the wellbeing of the Nation.

4.21 That high quality education programmes in whänau settings for the young to the elderly, through electronic and other means, become commonplace in homes and in other whänau arrangements with local responsibility across all cultural and ethnic groups.

4.3 That our educational programmes are available within cultural and

ethnic contexts (including content and methodologies) that facilitate high quality teaching and learning;

That high quality educational programmes in all fields and at

all levels are available within kaupapa and tikanga Mäori;

4.311 That röpü tuku iho (whänau, hapü and iwi) be

acknowledged as potential providers of high quality and distinctive educational programmes within kaupapa and tikanga Mäori; that the potential of marae to be centres of learning where they are the authorities be recognised;

That high quality educational programmes in all fields and at

all levels are available within arrangements that give expression

to the preferences of the participant community and that reflect the cultural and ethnic diversity of our Nation

That our educational programmes be funded in ways that are consistent

with Te Tiriti o Waitangi/The Treaty of Waitangi

That educational programmes that are designed and delivered

to actively protect the taonga under Article 2 of the Tiriti/Treaty be available at no cost to participants and that participants be assisted to pursue these programmes;

That in addition to a universal study allowance, scholarships be

made available to limit the level of student debt to its present level;

That repayment of student debt be set at 10 percent of the

excess of a person’s income over 150 percent of the average income of those employed;

4.45 That a period of grace of five years after a person’s income reaches 150 percent of the average income of those employed be introduced; and

That interest on existing student debt be waived.

4.5 That the organisational arrangements for the implementation of

educational policies be designed to be consistent with the expression to Te Tiriti/The Treaty

4.51 That kaupapa and tikanga driven bodies of the now less numerous partner to the Tiriti/Treaty be prominent in

the design and implementation of educational policies

4.6 That educational programmes that provide for lifelong learning, including for the nourishment of those whose potential is wholly or partially untapped, be accessible around the Country under arrangements that are consistent with the Tiriti/Treaty.

4.61 That educational programmes designed to increase the productivity of land and other tangible assets and of intellectual property be accessible around the Nation under arrangements that are consistent with the Tiriti/Treaty.

4.7 That research funding allocations from the public purse be consistent

with the Treaty/Tiriti;

That kaupapa and tikanga driven bodies of the now less numerous signatory to the Tiriti/Treaty be prominent in

the determination of research priorities and in the selection of research projects to be funded;

4.711 That particular encouragement be given to theoretical and empirical research into mätauranga tuku iho including kaupapa (manaakitanga, rangatiratanga, whanaungatanga, kotahitanga, wairuatanga, mana whenua, kaitiakitanga, mana tupuna/whakapapa and te reo Mäori) and the tikanga that derive from these (including policies, practices an organisational arrangements)

4.72 That within a period of five years the proportion of the Nation’s contribution to research from the public purse to the broadening and deeping of the mätauranga continuum of the less numerous signatory to the Tiriti/Treaty be determined by the proportion of the population represented by the tangata whenua signatory to the Treaty plus provision for the under-funding of this partner in recent years.

Mäori Party

6 December 2004

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