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Maori student body talking poppycock

Maori student body talks poppycock over student loans

Tuesday 15 Feb 2005

Deborah Coddington - Press Releases - Education

The National Maori Students' Association's claim that the student loan scheme breaches the Treaty of Waitangi should be thrown out of court, ACT Education spokesman Deborah Coddington said today.

"The Maori students' association - Te Mana Akonga - has taken over a claim lodged five years ago arguing that the Treaty guaranteed 'free' education for Maori because education is a taonga," Miss Coddington said.

"They believe the student loan scheme is discriminatory because Maori take longer to pay it back. What poppycock.

"There's no such thing as a 'free' education. Don't these students realise that someone has to pay? Even though tertiary institutes charge fees, taxpayers subsidise students to the tune of about 75 percent. Many of those taxpayers are Maori, who'd probably like to keep more of their money so they can send their own children to university.

"The student association needs to get real. If education is a taonga, where is their concern for those Maori children who will never get to the gate of a university because their parents are taxed too high.

"And before the association starts taking action over so-called discrimination, it should look to itself. Isn't the mere fact it's an association for Maori students an example of racial discrimination?" Miss Coddington said.


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