3 Sep 2020

Academic says allegations of racism at Waikato University met with silence

From Morning Report, 6:46 am on 3 September 2020

A Māori academic who has come forward alleging casual and structural racism within Waikato University says her concerns have been met with resounding silence from the university's leaders.

Professor of indigenous education Linda Tuhiwai Smith is one of six academics who have written a 13-page letter to the Ministry of Education alerting it of their concerns, and demanding racism within the university be dealt with.

The allegations include Māori expertise being ignored, tokenism, lower pay for Māori staff and no meaningful commitment to the Treaty of Waitangi.

Linda Tuhiwai Smith told RNZ reporter Te Aniwa Hurihanganui not a single leader from the university has been in touch. The university has publicly rejected all allegations.

In a statement the Vice-Chancellor and University Council say they take allegations of racism seriously and encourage anyone to raise concerns with them through the appropriate channel so that the University has an opportunity to investigate them.