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Katene calls for more Maori in the Science Sector

Katene calls for more Maori in the Science Sector
Monday 22 September 2008
Rahui Katene, Candidate for Te Tai Tonga

Maori Party candidate Rahui Katene is calling for greater dynamism and new ideas to attract young Maori into careers in science. After attending Lincoln University Schools Science and Technology Fair earlier this month Katene believes she was the sole Maori in a room of several hundred industry participants, students, parents and teachers.

“I appeared to be the only Maori there, where are our Maori scientists and science students?” said Te Tai Tonga candidate Rahui Katene.

The fair has been held annually for over thirty years. Entrants to the fair range from Year 7 – 13, however this year no Year 13 students entered. Prizes ranged from book vouchers to $1000 cash and three years fees only scholarship.

“ I really enjoyed celebrating the success of these young students but I challenge the science sector to address the growing disparity in the numbers of Maori students doing science at school and beyond – just as they have for Year 8 boys by providing a specific prize,” Katene says.

It is vital to attract Maori secondary students into the science sector, as these students will help shape the future of their communities.

“ We need to ask what are the systemic barriers that prevent Maori students studying science and how can we overcome them, one obvious model that works well in other sectors is mentoring and transition programmes,” she said.

“The majority of Treaty settlements are based in New Zealand’s primary industries; we need educated Maori coming through our tertiary institutions who are equipped to work in this sector,” Katene said.


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