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Double Standard Operating Over Wananga

'What's good for wananga should be good for universities'

15 February 2005

"New Zealanders are asking what sort of double standard is operating in the Government, when the Education Minister states that wananga are not able to define themselves as universities and yet fails to apply the same ruling to universities that define themselves as wananga" said Tariana Turia, co-leader of the Maori Party.

"I was disappointed to hear the Minister of Education in the House today, state that Te Wananga o Aotearoa could not call itself an university".

"I would expect that same standard would apply to universities who call themselves whare wananga' (such as Te Whare Wänanga o Waikato or Te Whare Wänanga o Otägo)" said Mrs Turia.

"It is fascinating that the moment there is greater Maori participation, indeed unprecedented Maori participation in tertiary education there are suddenly serious questions being asked about the quality of programmes and courses offered in wananga; numbers are being reduced, and an institution like Te Wananga o Aotearoa is being subjected to endless rounds of reviews".

"The fact that for years prior to the establishment of wananga, tertiary institutions were failing Maori students seems to have been of no concern said Mrs Turia.

"It would appear that these comments today by the Education Minister and the Prime Minister demonstrate another clash between rangatiratanga and kawanatanga".

"There is an obvious inconsistency in that those institutions who are identified with kawanatanga are able to do as they wish, whilst those institutions who are aligned with rangatiratanga are constrained".

ENDS

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