Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato University of Waikato kaimahi Māori who have raised serious allegations of institutional racism at the university have a right to a full investigation says Te Hautū Kahurangi | Tertiary Education Union (TEU).

Allegations of structural and casual racism have been reported and a process of Protected Disclosure (whistleblower) Act has been undertaken to voice collective concern.

TEU National President Michael Gilchrist says it is clear that many kaimahi Māori have been fearful of raising their concerns, fearful of retribution if they questioned the institution’s leadership and direction.

“A proper process is important for those raising allegations of institutional racism and for the institution.”

Tauira Māori also held a protest on Friday afternoon at the University in support of staff concerns.

TEU is in conversation with its Māori members and the Chancellor to ensure any investigation protects their rights, while ensuring natural justice for other parties.

Vice-Chancellors and other sector leaders in tertiary education know the importance of open and robust debate, and we would expect nothing less at Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato. We are concerned to think kaimahi Māori are fearful of doing their job and critiquing their own institution. Kaimahi Māori voices must be heard to ensure due process.