(as dictated to Mrs Grumble)
Maori Tertiary students are opposing the Education (Freedom of Association) Amendment Bill and urge the National Party Caucus to support the status quo, according to Jacqualene Poutu, a big cheese in the National Māori Tertiary Students Association.
We may suppose this really means that Poutu and a few others will be opposing the Bill. There must be some Maori students out there who don’t give a shit, one way or the other, and some who would enthusiastically support Sir Roger.
Or for some curious reasons unknown to Alf, do all Maori students support the principle of compulsory membership?
Alf is bound to say he finds this Poutu creature a bit of a raver.
“Māori are constantly challenged by barriers in the education sector. Fair, consistent representation for Māori Students by Māori Students enables their voice to be heard and received without intrusion, interference or conflict from external parties” said Poutu
“The National government have expressed previously that they would like better outcomes for Māori in education. TMA questions how this view is possible if they take the reliable tools we have, this being our voice and the right to express our autonomy” said Poutu
“TMA questions why our Treaty Partner would even consider this bill, when the government’s protection of Māori people is clearly stated in the Preamble, and every article of the Treaty of Waitangi, found in both the English and Māori texts” said Poutu.
“Māori students will be severely disadvantaged if this Bill becomes law. Te Mana Akonga will fight against this bill to ensure that Māori students voices can continue to be heard in the tertiary education sector,“ concludes Poutu.
So what is this dastardly chunk of legislation designed to do?
The Education (Freedom of Association) Billwould make student associations voluntary.
Not freedom of association – please don’t give our Maori the luxury of freedom of association.
That seems to be the war whoop of the pathetic Poutu.
She and her members – obviously – would much prefer young Maori were denied any opportunity to decide for themselves what outfits they join and fund.
They will fight to deny them that right.
This strikes Alf as a curious way to give expression to the ideal of Maori independence.