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Raihania takes a stand for Maori learners

MEDIA STATEMENT

Na Raihania

Maori Party candidate for Ikaroa Rawhiti

27 June 2013

Raihania takes a stand for Maori learners

Ikaroa Rāwhiti candidate, Na Raihania, has commended his Māori Party colleagues for asking the hard questions around support for Māori students in accessing tertiary education opportunities.

Today in the House, Te Ururoa Flavell asked Steven Joyce, about the impact for Māori, of caps on student allowances for students aged 40 and over.

"Over the last six weeks I have had the privilege of spending time with many Māori students at Tūranga Ararau (iwi tertiary education provider); Te Wānanga o Aotearoa; Eastern Institute of Technology; Tairawhiti Polytechnic, Taiwhenua o Heretaunga private training establishment and other tertiary institutes. It has been so inspiring to see the numbers of Māori learners; many accessing second chance opportunities," said Mr Raihania.

"Often our people have a different learning pathway. They may have started work young, and come in and out of education before they are in a position to focus on their study. We should be celebrating and supporting these students for having the foresight and the initiative to take up further education - not putting up barriers.

"The fact that the cap is after three years means that in reality, students will have to find their own form of assistance to access higher education; so in effect it's another barrier to participating at higher levels of education, and we need Maori to be supported at all levels of education. Investing into higher education is a proven means of 'closing the gap' and building a resilient Maori workforce and we want to do all that we can to increase that".

"The Government has a worthwhile goal - to increase the numbers of Māori students enjoying success at higher qualifications level - but it would seem that the policy announcements will prevent that goal from being met. Our role in the Māori Party is to do all that we can to keep that goal uppermost in our minds - because it certainly is in ours and in the many students and kaiako I have seen taking up learning with such passion."


ENDS

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