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Māori Party celebrates Wānanga students’ success

Te Ururoa Flavell
Māori Party Co-Leader | MP for Waiariki

11 April 2014

Māori Party celebrates Wānanga students’ success

The Māori Party congratulates all 2400 students graduating from Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi today, and says it is so proud of the achievements of these students and the contribution that Wānanga are making to Māori educational achievement.

“I am so proud of the achievements of these 2400 graduates, their whānau, and Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi,” said Party Co-leader and Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell.

“We often talk about Māori educational success, but this small wānanga in Whakatāne is showing it is producing the goods. 96% of their students are Māori, and today they are celebrating their achievements, their hard work and success.”

“There was a time in our history when you could count the number of Māori graduates on one hand. Some institutions still struggle to ensure Māori course completions. What the whānau, students, staff and community of Awanuiārangi have shown, is that Māori can excel in education, and it is possible to produce large scale success for Māori when you expect success, and provide a culturally relevant learning model.”

“With all the issues currently facing the tertiary sector, I really want to acknowledge the hard work of the wānanga in producing solid outcomes for Māori tertiary students,” said Mr Flavell.

“We are often focused on what doesn’t work for Māori in our system, and it’s about time that we celebrated our successes, and look to learn from what is working. Obviously, the wānanga model is working for our people, and the proof is in the 2400 graduates across a range of programmes including degree, post-graduate and doctoral levels.”

“I hope that the wider tertiary sector is taking note of what is happening here, and is looking towards developing models to ensure that Māori students are succeeding equally in their own institutions.”

“Māori learners and the three wānanga face unique challenges in the tertiary education space, and the Māori Party wants to see barriers to Māori participation, such as recent changes to student loans and allowances, are reduced. We also want to see investment into Māori development models that work, and a commitment to ensuring Government policies should not diminish Māori participation, but produce practices and attitudes that create an even playing field for Māori learners, and Māori organisations, allowing for equal outcomes that lead to Māori success.”

“I hope that the Minister of Tertiary Education is taking in exactly what has been achieved by our wānanga and their contribution to transforming the wellbeing of our Māori communities. I also hope he takes note of the success that is possible for Māori students when the right kind of support is around them,” said Mr Flavell.

ENDS

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