Staff deserve right to use te reo Māori

Posted By TEU on Nov 27, 2014 | 2 comments

Tertiary Update Vol 17 No 41

Students at most tertiary institutions have the right to use te reo Māori as provided for and protected in their institution’s policies and practices, but staff do not always have that same right.

TEU’s Te Pou Tuarā Lee Cooper says he hopes that TEU’s new policy, Te Reo Rangatira, will change that.

This month the TEU’s annual conference passed the policy on the use of te reo Māori and tikanga Māori.  The policy supports the right of staff to deliver teaching, research and assessment in te reo Māori.

Cooper says the union will work to ensure these rights when bargaining new collective agreements.

“We will support tertiary institutions to ensure te reo Māori and tikanga Māori policies and practices support both staff and students.  Sometimes that is as simple as making sure all staff computers are able to use Māori macrons.”

“We know some staff who want to teach and assess in te reo Māori may get negative feedback from some students.  We want to work with institutions to support and protect staff when they face that criticism, in the same way they support and protect students.”

“The policy also recognises that the right of staff to teach and assess in te reo must be balanced with a student’s right to understand what they are learning”

TEU’s policy is timely given the Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill 2014 is currently before Parliament. That bill, led by the Māori Party’s co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell, is currently receiving public submissions. It proposes that government agencies take all reasonable steps to promote and use te reo Māori.

Cooper says TEU’s te uepū Māori members will make submissions on the bill and hope Flavells’ Bill can support TEU’s efforts to promote te reo Māori and tikanga Māori in tertiary institutions.

 Also in Tertiary Update this week:

  1. Terrorism bill fraught with risk for academics
  2. Government digs deeper into $10m fraud
  3. Otago cutbacks mooted to fund building
  4. 4 percent cut to per student funding

Other news

After four years of falling student numbers, the University of Otago is expecting a modest increase next year – Otago Daily Times

An investigation has been launched into Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre near Carterton in the wake of probes that exposed almost $10 million in misappropriated tertiary funding at other institutions – Wairarapa Times Age

Former Labour Party leader David Cunliffe has fallen to the mid-benches, missed out on major portfolios and will take responsibility for regional development and tertiary education – The Herald considers the tertiary education portfolio a punishment.


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