Protecting specialist Māori jobs

Posted By TEU on Mar 15, 2016 |

Whitestreaming is replacing specialist Māori jobs and services with generalist ones. For instance, whitestreaming is replacing a specific Māori academic support officer who provides academic support and pastoral care to Māori students with a general support officer who helps all students.

  • TEU research found whitestreaming is a widespread practice across tertiary education – occurring in all eight universities, at least 13 of the 18 polytechnics, and in one wānanga.  It has also become a widespread practice across many different specialist Māori positions, and has been most prevalent in teaching, academic student support, pastoral student support, staff support, and research positions.
  • Whitestreaming happens most often when institutions or departments seek to cut their operational costs.  In some cases it has happened as a result of Māori staff resignations, where vacated positions are simply not refilled.  In some instances, no reasons have been given for whitestreaming changes.
  • The impacts of whitestreaming on Māori staff and students have been overwhelmingly negative.  The negative impacts on Māori staff have included a loss of collegiality, increased workload, decreased job satisfaction, with nearly half wanting to leave their job and work elsewhere.  The negative impacts on Māori students have included being less likely to use student support services and leaving the institution altogether which, in turn, impacted negatively on Māori student achievement.
  • Māori staff who have been the most affected by whitestreaming have been academic staff employed on permanent, full-time contracts.  Māori women aged over 35 years have also been the most affected by whitestreaming, reflecting the demographics of Māori in the tertiary sector in general.

TEU believes that whitestreaming does not just affect specialist Māori roles, but also kaupapa Māori pedagogies, course content and programmes, and Te Tiriti o Waitangi.  Many institutions are failing to invest adequately in and implement their obligations to Māori under Te Tiriti o Waitangi.


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