National Maori Student Association disappointed at new law

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Te Mana Akonga the National Maori Students Association expressed their disappointment at the passing of the Education (Polytechnics) Amendment Bill which they argued was not adequately consulted on Maori and Student groups over the proposed changes which see an end to guaranteed representation for both Maori and students on council level boards.

M?ori representation and Student Representation is currently the status quo, they are part of the Polytechnic governance, and their contributions have value and worth to their wider respective communities. Their voice ensures needs of equity and access for Maori and Students are addressed said Jacqualene Poutu, Tumuaki Te Mana Akonga (National Maori Tertiary Students Association).

The bill was rushed into legislation, leaving Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITPs) no support in handling the issues with affect them. Instead TMA has argued that the passing of this act will only increase political interference which will alienate the community, students, academic staffing, and M?ori representatives both internal and external to the institution.

Students are the key stakeholders in education and this is not being recognised by the Government. The education that a student receives not only costs the earth, but will also have a huge impact on their future careers. As such, they deserve to have a voice at high level governance where key education decisions are being made, said Poutu.

Minister Tolley needs to ensure that Polytechnics around the country recognise the importance of having student representation and M?ori representation on their council and encourage all polytechnics to guarantee these positions on council concluded Poutu.

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