Māori Students are ready to fight the Douglas Bill
“Māori Tertiary students are opposing the Education (Freedom of Association) Amendment Bill and urge the National Party Caucus to support the status quo” said Jacqualene Poutu, Tumuaki of Te Mana Ākonga (TMA, National Māori Tertiary Students Association) .
“Today is the first reading for the bill and TMA and New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations will be present for the political debate at Parliament tonight” says Poutu
“Māori are constantly challenged by barriers in the education sector. Fair, consistent representation for Māori Students by Māori Students enables their voice to be heard and received without intrusion, interference or conflict from external parties” said Poutu
“The National government have expressed previously that they would like better outcomes for Māori in education. TMA questions how this view is possible if they take the reliable tools we have, this being our voice and the right to express our autonomy” said Poutu
“TMA questions why our Treaty Partner would even consider this bill, when the government’s protection of Māori people is clearly stated in the Preamble, and every article of the Treaty of Waitangi, found in both the English and Māori texts” said Poutu.
“Māori students will be severely disadvantaged if this Bill becomes law. Te Mana Akonga will fight against this bill to ensure that Māori students voices can continue to be heard in the tertiary education sector,“ concludes Poutu.