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Why No Maori Scholarships?

18 April 2005

Why No Maori Scholarships?

New Zealand First is calling on the Minister of Education to explain why scholarships for Maori and Pacific Island top achievers have been dropped.

“Awards for top boy and girl Maori and Pacific Island students have long been a category of the scholarship programme, but this year they have been quietly removed from the agenda,” said Maori Affairs spokesperson Pita Paraone.

“If this is a direct result of Dr Brash’s Orewa speech of last year, then it contradicts the resolutions of the much vaunted Hui Taumata, which was strongly focused on encouraging Maori into higher education.

“The Government needs to decide where they stand on targeted education policies, and defend those policies. At the moment they’re jumping all over the place trying not to attract any heat, and in the process sending out a whole bunch of mixed messages to students and parents.

“There have been enough shambolic episodes in the education sector recently to earn the Minister a ‘Could Try Harder’ comment on his report. The sudden and mysterious removal of scholarships for Maori and Pacific Island students is in the “Please Explain’ category,” said Mr Paraone.


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