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Tertiary Outcomes For Maori And PI Set To Improve

Te Mana Akonga, the National Maori University Students' Association and the New Zealand University Students' Association have strongly welcomed today's announcement of an extra $18 million to go towards support services for Maori and Pacific Island tertiary students.

"This extra spending will go a significant way towards addressing issues of participation, retention and achievement amongst Maori and Pacific students", said Danica Waiti, Kaituuhono for Te Mana Akonga. "We are pleased to see acknowledgement of the efforts of some institutions who have already implemented their own support services for under-represented groups."

"Furthermore, this funding will be beneficial to those groups within institutions who currently provide support in the absence of any institutional support, financial or otherwise. Often this is operated purely out of goodwill in an attempt to keep students studying", said Sam Huggard, Co-President of NZUSA.

"The government will already have many good examples to turn to when they seek to disseminate information on 'best practices'", said Miss Waiti. "The Maori Centre at the University of Otago would be a case in point".

The Government has also announced a new requirement that tertiary institutions report regularly to government on their progress in Maori and Pacific education outcomes.

"Vague statements in charters look good on paper, but this accountability requirement will hopefully go some way to ensuring institutions meet their responsibilities under the Treaty of Waitangi," said Sam Huggard.

"Whilst we oppose the ideological basis of Closing the Gaps, in that it is essentially paternalistic, assimilatory and deficit-based, we strongly support recognition that massive socio-economic disparities exist in tertiary education, as in many other areas" concluded Miss Waiti and Mr Huggard.

Ends.


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