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Pakeha seek Treaty protection

Bill English

National Party Education spokesman
21 September 2005

Pakeha seek Treaty protection

National Party Education spokesman Bill English says Pakeha, Pasifika and new migrant students are using the Treaty of Waitangi to stop the caretaker government expelling them from the wananga.

Interests associated with Te Wananga o Aotearoa have lodged an urgent claim at the Waitangi Tribunal to stop Labour enforcing a Maori quota to make the wananga more Maori.

"Labour wants the wananga to reduce its proportion of non-Maori students from 50% to 20%. This would mean expelling around 8,000 non-Maori students," says Mr English.

"Labour's policy is ridiculous. High quality education and careful use of taxpayer money is much more important than the ethnic origin of the students.

"The wananga is a strongly Maori institution which opens its doors to all New Zealanders. Inclusiveness should be encouraged, not punished.

"Labour is trying to push the wananga down a separatist path against its will. How much more bizarre can the Treaty industry get when a Maori institution has to lodge a Treaty claim to protect its non-Maori students from bad government policy?"

Ends


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