HauTaki Haere Tertiary Update Vol 24, No 11

Thousands of people across Aotearoa have marched at Black Lives Matter rallies up and down the country. They marched in solidarity with Black, Indigenous, minority and margainalised communities around the world. Even more communities and whānau are discussing the issues of our shared history, and of race and injustice.

The recent rallies emerged following the tragic murder of George Floyd at the hands of police, the deaths in custody of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Australians, and recent debate around the Police Armed Response Team trial in predominantly Māori and Pasifika communities here in Aotearoa.

New Zealanders from all walks of life are coming together to demand an end to the systemic racism that has not only resulted in the disproportionate incarceration, shootings and use of force by police of Māori and Pasifika peoples, but also the poorer outcomes Māori and Pasifika face in health, housing, employment and education.

TEU members believe that equitable access to tertiary education is vital to improving the lives of all who live in Aotearoa.

Through our core documents, Te Kaupapa Whaioranga, the Blueprint for Māori Tertiary Education, and Te Koeke Tiriti, TEU is committed to maintaining and advancing strong Te Tiriti o Waitangi relationships that will leave no-one behind, create spaces where all people can fully participate, are fairly represented, and that foster good relationships between people.

TEU’s Project Whitestreaming highlighted both systemic and implicit racism in the tertiary education sector, and outlined ways in which the TEU might support and contribute to the self-determination of Māori members in their workplaces.

Through Te Toi Ahurangi and National Women’s Committees, and our Pasifika, Rainbow, and Under 35 networks, we are determined to see that all members feel represented, that all feel safe, and that our tertiary education institutions uphold Te Tiriti o Waitangi and reflect the diversity of this whenua. But we know we still have more mahi to do.

Working together, TEU is committed to the protection and improvement of our public tertiary education system, for all New Zealanders, and for the public good. However, we know education is just one part of the equation, and more must be done.

TEU member Garrick Cooper is a Senior Lecturer at Aotahi School of Māori and Indigenous Studies at the University of Canterbury, is from Ngāti Whanaunga (Hauraki) and Ngāti Ranginui (Tauranga Moana). Cooper researches and teaches Indigenous and Black philosophy, and shared with TEU the following,

“Whilst Māoridom most certainly has a long history and tradition of active resistance against colonialism and its excesses, we have also been inspired and supported by other resistance movements around the world. The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement fits within that tradition.

Some voices have expressed consternation and ambivalence about the level of support for BLM amongst the Māori community. For many of this younger generation of Māori activists the connection is self-evident.

The disconnect perhaps reveals fundamental disagreements about the mechanics and architecture of colonialism. Lets be clear, the very forces that created the slave trade, and the sets of conditions that African-Americans have endured ever since, are the same forces that drove European colonisation of this land.

In some ways, the real progress made vis-à-vis Tiriti grievances have made more opaque, one, particularly insidious feature of colonialism, that is anti-Māori/Black racism.

The BLM movement has perhaps reminded us about what we are up against, that is, colonialism and racism constantly brings into question our humanity (and/or mana) – as important as they are, it isn’t only about the loss of land, language and lore.”

TEU will continue to stand against racial injustice and discrimination in all its forms. Te Koeke Tiriti states,

“Awhi atu, awhi mai: We take actions that seek to improve the lives of the most vulnerable; we give and receive, acknowledging that reciprocity is fundamental to strong and equitable relationships…”

“Tū kotahi, tū kaha: We are strong and unified; we are committed to actions which will leave no-one behind; and we create spaces where all people can fully participate, are fairly represented, and that foster good relationships between people”.

TEU is determined to continue to improve the lives of our most vulnerable, and to leave no-one behind.

Tū kotahi, tū kaha: In union, and in solidarity.

Also in this update:

Across the world: Black Lives Matter

Winnng a boost in pay for essential staff at VUW

Creating a new academic architecture for vocational education together

Students deserve better

Other news:

Work dries up for teachers as borders stay shut for international students – NZ Herald

Most institutes in new national polytechnic expect multi-million deficits - RNZ

PM Ardern meets Tauranga apprentice hired in Mana for Mahi scheme – NZ Herald

Targeted training fund not just for the 'traditional' trades - Stuff

Investigation into university accommodations during lockdown receives unanimous party support – 1 News