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      • OPINION: I’m Going To Have My Voice Heard This Election—But I’m Not Sure Who’ll Listen.
        • 13 Oct 2020
        • Salient
        • Gina Dao-McLay | She/Her <figure class=" sqs-block-image-figure intrinsic " > PHOTO: Stuff Having turned 18 between the initial election date and October 17th, I, all of a sudden, have a couple of important decisions to make. Being able to vote means taking part in national politics, which feels really overwhelming. As a young person, being immersed in social media means we have access to more information than ever before. This gives us a huge awareness of what is going on around the world. We see how politicians’ decisions overseas make a massive difference in people’s everyday lives and change the future we’ll inherit forever. We know how what we do (or don’t do) now can change the course of history. In New Zealand, 18-24-year-olds make up the second-largest eligible voting block. More than ever, our futures and our children's futures will be tied to the decisions of politicians today. With all this voting power, and our lives on the line, you’d think political parties would be knocking down doors to appeal to young voters. But unfortunately, that is not the case. I was at a Local Body Election event last year and an older man stood up to tell then Wellington City Council candidate Tamatha Paul that, “if young people finally got organised you could have a serious impact on the results of elections.” He wasn’t wrong, but as was rightly pointed out to him, there are many reasons young people don’t go to the polls. Young people will show up for politics when politicians start showing up for them. I know I’m going to have my voice heard this election, but I’m not sure who’ll listen. Our current political parties have a history of promising to make things better for our generation and then doing the exact opposite. If they think they can opt-out of improving our lives and securing our futures—then, of course, young voters opt-out on election day. Throughout Aotearoa, youth continue to make clear what we want to see from our Government. The New Zealand Union of Students' Associations want universal student allowances. Te Ara Whatu and School Strike for Climate want a commitment to climate action. The whānau  at Ihumātao want their whenua protected and free of housing development. Make it 16 want to lower the voting age. It’s beyond clear that many young people know what they want their futures to look like. We know what we want to see in our communities. Yet, because of lack of Government action and civics education in schools, young people and other marginalised communities often opt out of voting. Without the belief things will actually change or knowledge of political systems, our confidence in our own political engagement crumbles—automatically cutting us from the conversations we've intentionally been kept out of. They don’t have to serve us if we’re not at the table. I believe we have the power to break this cycle. We may not own houses, or very much at all, but we do own our vote. We are able to say no to the status quo and to those who push us and our lives out of politics—we literally have the power to change the country, it’s there for the taking. This year has proved that anything is possible. Only we can show our next Government what real change looks like. Young people know what we want now, and for our future. We will be voting this election, for whoever can answer our calls.
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      • Meet The Candidates for Te Tai Tonga Panel Held at VUW
        • 4 Oct 2020
        • Salient
        • Te Aorewa Rolleston | Ngāi te Rangi, Ngāti Ranginui | She/Her Candidates standing for the largest electorate in the Māori electoral roll met at Victoria University last Monday to outline their policies and discuss issues posted to them by the student community.
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      • Damage of Whiria Project Furthering Distrust
        • 4 Oct 2020
        • Salient
        • Finn Blackwell | He/Him <figure class=" sqs-block-image-figure intrinsic " > PHOTO: VUW While the highly controversial Whiria project did not progress further into stage 2, many restructural plans are continuing with similar essence.  The impending financial issues VUW face are further building tension between University staff and University senior leadership. A university staff member spoke to Salient about their concerns shared with many colleagues, saying they “actually expect nothing good anymore [from the University]” “Trust is non-existent. We used to call it a low trust environment, but I would now call it an active distrust environment.”  This comes as the University is anticipating a forecasted $19 million deficit for this year and a further $33 million loss for 2021.  “There are still many concerns staff have over their faculties and budgets. It looks like there will be attempts to restructure faculties [...] the budgets are now held at or even above the faculty level, which means schools don’t have a budget anymore, which means we can’t decide to hire tutors, to give marking relief, which means we cannot decide to give work to students.” Students have previously reported feeling nervous and left out from discussions, both before and after the Whiria Project came to light.  As VUWSA stated in their submission on the Whiria Project, they were disappointed that “this so-called ‘discussion document’ was produced with no student consultation.” Since the Whiria Project has been prevented from furthering to stage 2, key restructure plans with similar essences are being discussed at the upper level. The fears of job losses for these restructures are a concern for some staff and students of VUW. The University previously stated that cost-reduction measures unrelated to job cuts “can be progressed immediately” however, the timeline for these immediate measures and consultation with staff and students is unclear. When asked how students can contribute to discussions surrounding these “immediate” measures, the University previously stated stakeholders “will be engaged in developing the solutions and advising on the consequences of the options.” When asked whether they thought this restructure was a result of the poor planning over lockdown, or whether it was simply an inevitability, a staff member explained that “it’s a byproduct and, as I view it, a growing complete detachment from how a university works and what we need.”  The staff member remarked that “it’s also a lack of respect. For me, it was a very clear lack of respect for students, to VUWSA, but also to us, the staff.”  “[I] see that as a breakdown of good faith, of respect, and of a university management that isn’t interested anymore in communicating with the most important people in this University and that’s the people.” The staff member’s message to University senior leadership was a plea for trust.  “Trust us to do our job. Trust us, listen to us, go to the faculties, to the deans and associate deans and say ‘what are you doing’, ‘what are the best examples of coping in your faculty’, let’s exchange ideas, let’s roll that out across the University, listen to staff and students and implement it University-wide.”  “The leadership thinks they know what’s best, when in fact they haven’t taught for years and years and years, and they don’t know how it functions and they’re not interested in best practice.”
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      • Everything Grant Guilford Should Cut Before Cutting Jobs
        • 4 Oct 2020
        • Salient
        • Salient Staff <figure class=" sqs-block-image-figure intrinsic " > So, you’re a University in need of some good old fashioned restructuring. Time for a fresh coat of paint, some grease on the wheels, and you’re good to go. There’s just one problem, what to ditch and what to keep? A restructure is the perfect opportunity to cull some expensive jobs. But is it the best thing for staff and students? Fuck. Naw. So, for those adventurous enough to undergo such an arduous task as fixing a university, here is the definitive list of things that Grant Guildford should get a refund on before he cuts any jobs. 1. The Wall of Hellos in the Hub Ah yes, ‘hello’, ‘kia ora’, ‘ni hao’, ‘tālofa lava’, cuz who doesn’t want to feel like they’re in an airport as they walk to class? While a nice idea to reflect the different backgrounds of VUW students, there must have been a less expensive way of going about it.  2. Failed Re-Oweek Events Uni events are expenny. The Uni blew $30,000 on that cancelled re-O week event, which could have kept a couple of tutors in a job for another year.  If the University decided not to drop that much cash on an event, do nothing to promote it, and cancel it two days beforehand, ruling out any refunds, they’d save themselves a lot of money and dignity. 3. Buying the Gordon Wilson flats Sure, buy them to build high-density, sustainable housing, but not a glorified front door. VUW bought the abandoned flats at the bottom of the terrace (you know, the super haunted-looking ones) in 2014 for $6 million. The site is heritage listed for some absurd reason, but the uni is trying to change this. They want to knock it down and build a multi-million dollar entranceway to the uni because fuck jobs amirite? 4. Rebrands or Restructures by Stealth VUW decided it would be a good idea to drop nearly half a million dollars on the infamous brand refresh. HALF A MILLION. We’re trying to save the university money here, so for them to go out and drop HALF A MILLION DOLLARS on something like this is definitely something that could have been avoided, and in turn, saved the uni a lot of cash. Same goes for a multi-million dollar restructure. Someone please explain to me how spending millions on restructure consultancy saves them millions. Make it make sense. 5. The Hunter Building? Cancelled. Not entirely sure what they’re doing over there with all the construction, but heritage buildings can get fucked. Let the gothic architecture crumble, and with it, the colonial foundations of this institution. With all eyes once again turning to senior leadership for any inclination of what’s going on, I hope this list gives them at least some idea of the possible alternatives they could look at (but who are we  kidding, Grant Guilford isn’t reading this). However, if you are Grant, reflect on your shitty spending habits, and consider some of these options before you bring the axe down on anyone.
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      • Advance Voting Opens at Kelburn Campus
        • 4 Oct 2020
        • Salient
        • Annabel McCarthy | Te Whakatōhea | She/Her <figure class=" sqs-block-image-figure intrinsic " > PHOTO: RNZ/Craig McColluch Students and the public can cast their votes in the 2020 General Election at Kelburn campus as part of advance voting until Friday 16 October and as part of election day voting on Saturday 17 October. Advance voting for the General Election and referendums opened on Saturday 3 October, two days earlier than usually would be the case. Advance votes can be cast at select voting places only, of which Kelburn campus is one. Owing to Covid-19, the Electoral Commission has put in place a range of measures at voting places across the country to help ensure the safety of people wishing to cast their votes this election. These measures include contact tracing, providing hand sanitiser for those entering and exiting voting places, managing queues, and allowing more room for physical distancing. Victoria University’s voting booth this year is located in the Student Union Building Memorial Theatre Foyer at Kelburn campus. Despite efforts to increase the size and number of voting places across the country, allowing for added space and social distancing, students on campus will only have the one voting booth to choose from. In the run up to the 2017 General Election, the Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Association (VUWSA) set up two advance polling stations: one at Kelburn campus in the Hub and one opposite Pipitea campus in Asteron House. Free rides to nearby voting booths were also provided by VUWSA to students studying at Te Aro campus on certain days. This was part of the Students’ Association’s efforts to get 100% of students voting. Such a service is not being provided in the run up to this year’s election. This year, VUWSA’s election campaign ‘Ask Me Why I’m Angry’ consisted of multiple panel discussions on the topics of welfare, the environment, and the End of Life Choice referendum. Panellists included Disability Human Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero, Labour MP Ruth Dyson, Wellington City Councillor Tamatha Paul, and several Victoria University lecturers. The panel discussions are currently available online to view. VUWSA also hosted a debate between the Wellington Central electorate candidates in September. Additionally, as part of the ‘Ask Me Why I’m Angry’ campaign, a National Tertiary Students’ Forum will be hosted online on Thursday 8 October at 6pm. Labour MP Chris Hipkins, Green Party Co-leader James Shaw, National MP Simeon Brown, Māori Party Co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer and The Opportunities Party Leader Geoff Simmons will all speak at this panel. In terms of the impact of Covid-19 on election day proceedings, Chief Electoral Officer Alicia Wright has indicated measures are in place to ensure people will be able to vote in person if the country moves to Alert Level 2. Protective gear will also be made available for voting staff if necessary. Furthermore, the Electoral Commission is working with the Ministry of Health on how to adapt these measures if areas of the country are placed at higher Alert Levels. The Commission has also increased capacity for takeaway and postal voting if needed. The Electoral Commission is asking people to bring their own pens to polling booths, although there will be pens available for those who forget. Those wishing to vote can do so any time from 3 October to election day, 17 October. People can also enrol to vote any time, including on election day. Once voting starts on 3 October, people can enrol and vote at the same time at any voting place. To find your closest advance or election day voting booth, head to the Electoral Commission’s website at vote.nz. The voting booth at Victoria University is located in Memorial Theatre Foyer in the Student Union Building, 1 Kelburn Parade.  Advance votes can be made anytime between Monday 5 October to Friday 9 October from 10am to 4pm and Monday 12 October to Friday 16 October from 9am to 5pm. Election day voting on Saturday 17 October will be available from 9am to 7pm.
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      • VUWSA AGM 2020, Version 2, Electric Boogaloo
        • 4 Oct 2020
        • Salient
        • Rachel Trow | Kāi Tahu, Ngāti Tūwharetoa | She/Her <figure class=" sqs-block-image-figure intrinsic " > VUWSA CEO Matt Tucker considers quitting his job as Johnny O’Hagan Brebner poses a question at the AGM. The VUWSA Annual General Meeting was held last week and was actually able to meet the quorum before midday. Here’s the rundown. Acting President Taylah Shuker started the meeting by totally denouncing the “harmful” behaviour at the cancelled VUWSA AGM. Shuker was referring to the “Zoom-bombing” of the online meeting, earlier in September. The minutes of the 2019 IGM and AGM were passed unanimously, duh. Shuker said COVID had put “an extra spin on things” but VUWSA had some great events throughout the year regardless. The exec had run several campaigns and made submissions on a bunch of issues that matter to students. Shuker encouraged everyone to enrol and vote in the General Election, telling the audience that “politicians are only going to make policies for young people if they get out there and vote”. Shuker moved to elect the Independent Arbitrator, Fleur Fitzsimons (Wellington City Councillor and former VUWSA President). Returning Officer, Millie Osborne asked, “what does that mean?” CEO Matt Tucker answered that the arbitrator was an independent oversight on VUWSA business but added that the person needed to be someone who understood how VUWSA worked and joked, “how independent can they be?”  Former Salient News Editor, Johnny O’Hagan Brebner asked who’d been doing it since the IGM seeing as the IGM didn’t happen. Tucker replied that it had been Fitzsimons all along, un-officially elected. Yikes. Motion passed. The 2020 Half Year Statement was carried with a unanimous yes. Shuker stated that they were “in line or slightly ahead” of 2019 financials. VUWSA is (almost) Living Wage Accredited. The budget has increased from $1,272,956 to $1,309,897.50.  The 2021 Budget was passed despite Treasurer Secretary Ralph Zambrano being unable to explain why there was a $25,000 increase for clubs and rep group support. Zambrano explained $5000 of the increased spending as being funded by “moving a few budget lines.”  Salient clarified after the AGM that “the representative group funding was allocated $7000 in 2019, and this amount was split in the 2020 budget between 2 lines but was still essentially $7000. There is no new spending in the 2021 budget—just a readjustment  of the allocation between these two lines again.” Current Welfare Vice President, Michael Turnbull runs through the constitutional amendment which moves to change the Equity and Wellbeing Officer title to simply Equity Officer. One nay from the crowd on this one, with Millie Osborne stating “Equity and Wellbeing sounds better.” Life Memberships were given out: one each to Associate Director of Mauri Ora, Kevin Rowlatt, Taylah Shuker, and Engagement Vice President Joanna Li.  Johnny O’Hagan Brebner asked why constitutional breaches hadn’t been tabled at the AGM, referring to the fact that there was no IGM in trimester one. He asked how students could be confident in constitutional oversight in light of this. VUWSA CEO Matt Tucker gave answers as to why the IGM hadn’t happened but not why the breaches weren’t recorded at the AGM. Salient sought further comment to which VUWSA replied, “VUWSA will be seeking to address any breaches and have them validated in due course—Most likely at the 2021 IGM.” Tucker stated that students could still be confident in the association despite these breaches, and student media had played a role in holding the Association to account. Naw. Thanks, koro.
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      • Student Representative on VUW Council to be Elected this Week
        • 4 Oct 2020
        • Salient
        • Te Aorewa Rolleston | Ngāi te Rangi, Ngāti Ranginui | She/Her <figure class=" sqs-block-image-figure intrinsic " > Several University Council Student Representative Candidates' flags hung in the Hub. Voting for the new student representative on the University Council opens Monday the 5th of October and closes on Friday the 9th. All active students can vote and will receive an email to vote electronically. The successful candidate will sit for a two year term, January 2021 to December 2022. The candidate will sit on the governance board alongside current University representative Rhianna Morar (Ngāti Porou, Te Arawa) who has one more year in her term.  Why is it important for students to vote? Salient spoke to Morar about the importance of the upcoming election. Morar told Salient that the value of being a student representative was instilled in the ability to have a voice and that “your vote matters”.  For Morar, it was also important to consider how the culture and support encompassed by University Council members was central to uplifting and acknowledging student representatives. This is so that their voices were heard and their contribution was equally considered amongst those of the other council members.  “In terms of the formalities in voting, students and staff tend to awhi each other, Hugo and I have been a really strong team this year”.  “We actually experience the decisions that are made at council and the flow on effects of that in our day to day lives. I think in terms of a cultural perspective, the solidarity between the student and staff representatives has been really important and really influential in terms of when we have a strong collective front”.  The current Chancellor of Victoria University, Neil Paviour-Smith responded on behalf of the University to Salient’s request for comment saying, “Student members on Council are equal peers on Council and their voice is the same as any other Council member” “At Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington, students elect the student Council members... Our students serve for a two-year term (compared to one-year in many other cases) meaning they have an opportunity to deepen their contribution as they spend more time as a Council member”.  The University Council has four members who are elected by the Minister for Tertiary Education and an additional eight are appointed by the Council itself. Decision making surrounding funding, the University’s strategic plan and the actioning of governance and policies related to the Education Act established in 1989 are matters covered by the University Council.  Honouring Te Tiriti o Waitangi The University Council currently has one elected representative out of twelve, separate to the Deputy Vice Chancellor Māori, who identifies as Māori sitting within the governing body. There is one ministerial appointed member, Cath Nesus who has whakapapa Māori. NZUSA President and previous University Council student representative, Isabella Lenihan-Ikin said, “Te Tiriti is about Mana motuhake, about sovereignty, about representation, we dramatically need to shift the way that we have representation of Māori and non-Māori on the university council”. Within the current ‘Council Membership Statute’ adhered to by the Council there is no established acknowledgement of Te Tiriti o Waitangi principles which would ensure representative voices of Māori as a partnering body would be elected. There was a separate adjoining Te Tiriti o Waitangi Statute implicated into the governance of the Council in 2019 but this document would still not allow an equal appointment of Indigenous members both within a student and staff capacity. Paviour stated that,“Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington is the only Aotearoa New Zealand university to have a specific Treaty of Waitangi statute, which was comprehensively updated recently after wide consultation with the University community”. “Our marae is central to life at the University and its name, Te Herenga Waka, is also now the Māori name of the University”. “Te Aka Matua—Māori Advisory Committee is a permanent committee of Council and exists to consider Treaty of Waitangi issues among other things and to advise Council on the University’s relations with Māori communities”. Lenihan-Ikin expressed that, “At the moment there are very limited Māori seats on the council, we’re not going to be able to ensure that there is constantly a Māori student voice at the table if we don’t have that”.  “For a university that calls itself Te Herenga Waka and for a University that has a Marae and talks about the iho and the essence of the University being located within Te Herenga Waka. There is so much more that we can do to ensure that and it begins with those structural changes like who sits at the table, who brings the conversation, who recognizes the importance of Te Tiriti”.  “The law for representation on the university council currently mandates that there is one student and one staff member, I don’t believe that that’s sufficient, as much as i believe that one student and one staff member is not sufficient, I don’t believe that we are actually going to allow for all communities to be at the table unless we have Māori seats on council. So I really believe that there should be a tauira Māori as a student elected equally with staff”.  Morar also stated that “The job of the council is to assess the strategic plan, in the strategic plan it says that the marae is at the heart of this institution and all of our values include things like kaitiakitanga and rangatiratanga”.  “Theoretically I think that every single council member knows that there is a duty for them to integrate whether or not those values are being given effect to by management”.  With a new student representative being elected there is an opportunity to elevate the experiences and perspectives of students while also nominating those individuals that will further contribute to the embodiment of Te Tiriti o Waitangi as a founding document. Lenihan-Ikin emphasized that, “The importance of Māori voices comes back to Te Tiriti in the sense that… as much as we need equal representation of course, we need to have systems and structures that allow for the operationalization of Te Tiriti, beyond it just being a Māori issue”.  “Where we have both Māori and Pākeha coming to the table and talking about how we can advance the partnership that this country was founded on”. Electronic voting will commence on Monday 5 October 2020 and close on Friday 9 October 2020 at 5.00 pm.
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      • MMP and “More Māori in Parliament”
        • 27 Sep 2020
        • Salient
        • Te Aorewa Rolleston | Ngāi te Rangi, Ngāti Ranginui | She/Her On Friday the 18th September, Salient was joined in the office by Mona-Pauline Mangāhia, Safari Hynes, Dr Maria Bargh and Dr Carwyn Jones for the panel discussion, ‘Māori and political empowerment’.
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      • VUW Academics Stand with Māori Academics at University of Waikato
        • 27 Sep 2020
        • Salient
        • Rachel Trow | Kāi Tahu, Ngāti Tūwharetoa | She/Her <figure class=" sqs-block-image-figure intrinsic " > Photo: Stuff After incidents at Waikato and Otago Universities, an open letter to Education Minister Chris Hipkins has been undersigned by Māori academics across the country. The open letter calls for a national enquiry into racism at New Zealand universities “for the purpose of committing to, and accelerating with urgency, a tertiary sector that honours te Tiriti o Waitangi.” The letter comes after caps on Māori and Pacific entry to Otago Medical School and an independent enquiry into racism at the University of Waikato garnered national attention. Leading academics Dr Linda Tuhiwai Smith (Ngāti Awa, Ngāti Porou) and Prof. Brendan Hokowhitu (Ngāti Pūkenga) have not had their contracts renewed at Waikato while the review takes place, according to RNZ reporting. In a statement to Salient, Victoria University expressed support for the open letter sent to Minister Hipkins, adding that they “do not conduct specific cultures [sic] reviews as such” themselves. The University listed their “commitment to decolonisation and indigenisation” as ranging from “symbolic changes” such as changing the University’s name to “active and visible commitments” such as including Māori leadership at all levels of University structure. VUW also recognised that “there is always more to do.” Academics at VUW have come out in active support of Māori academics at the University of Waikato, participating in a solidarity event on Friday the 18th of September. Staff were encouraged to wear purple and “incorporate Waikato Indigenous academics” into their teaching. Salient spoke to Dr Emalani Case (Kanaka Maoli) and Dr Vincent Olsen-Reeder (Ngā Pōtiki a Tamapahore), representatives of the solidarity event at VUW. Olsen-Reeder commented on the situation at Waikato, stating that “it’s really hard to see your colleagues, friends and whānau in distress. So many of us have been victims of racism in some form, at some time, so we’ll always want to show solidarity in that way.” Case and Olsen-Reeder were in agreement that VUW had “solid fundamentals in place” in regards to race at the University citing their Treaty Statute and Māori Outcomes Framework. However, the pair echoed the University’s assertion that there is always more that can be done. Dr Case offered that “one of the things I think all universities can do is hire more Māori and Pacific staff.” Case highlighted the importance of hiring Indigenous staff in permanent positions. When asked what they would like tertiary staff and students to consider moving forward, Olsen-Reeder told Salient, “I would love for us all to review what it means to be a great citizen of Aotearoa, regularly… Ask yourself how you can dismantle harm today, or open up space for someone, or challenge the stuff your parents taught you. Those are great things to do not just to combat racism, but to be anti-racist.”
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      • OPINION: Free Speech Costs
        • 21 Sep 2020
        • Salient
        • Dr Vincent Olsen-Reeder | Ngā Pōtiki a Tamapahore | He/Him There are more attitudes and opinions in our face now than ever before­—the good, the bad, and the ugly.
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      • VUW Loses $30k on Cancelled Re-O Week
        • 20 Sep 2020
        • Salient
        • Rachel Trow | Kāi Tahu, Ngāti Tūwharetoa | She/Her In emails obtained under the Official Information Act (OIA), Salient can confirm that the total cost to the University for the cancelled Re-O Week event, Drum & Bass In Your Face, was $30,723.
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      • NOPE 2 DOPE
        • 14 Sep 2020
        • Salient
        • This is for all the naysayers, who may not be convinced that voting ‘YES’ in the Cannabis Referendum is the way to go for the collective future.
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      • Tikanga Maori in The Courts
        • 14 Sep 2020
        • Salient
        • Kelly Mitchell | Ngāti Māhanga Content Warning: Child Abuse <figure class=" sqs-block-image-figure intrinsic " > Wellington’s Supreme Court. PHOTO: Stuff If you have any Māori law student mates, legal whānau, or just an appetite for criminal justice, you’ve probably heard of the Ellis case.  If you haven’t: Last year Peter Ellis, who had terminal cancer, appealed to the Supreme Court to overturn his remaining convictions of child sexual abuse from 1993. The Court said it would consider hearing the appeal even if he passed away before the scheduled hearing. After he died in September 2019, the case was then centered on whether the appeal should continue. Commonwealth courts have historically found that in death, someone’s interest in an appeal ends. Lawyers in the case turned to overseas jurisdictions which developed the rule to grant exceptional circumstances. An additional hearing on the matter was later granted after Justice Williams (Ngāti Pūkenga, Te Arawa) and Chief Justice Glazebrook raised questions to the lawyers around developing the rule using tikanga Māori. Their questions resulted in another hearing which asked the lawyers to make arguments specifically on how tikanga Māori authorised the Court to develop the old common law and recognise Mr. Ellis’ appeal. The hearing saw top Māori legal talent take the stand to discuss how tikanga Māori operates regarding mana after death, as well as legal precedent on how tikanga Māori can and should inform common law development in Aotearoa.  The arguments from both sides agreed that tikanga Māori means everyone, including Ellis as a Pākehā man, has mana. They were also in agreement that a conviction results in the diminishment or destruction of that mana and the mana of their family.  Furthermore, both sides recognised that the initial granting of the appeal means that there is now hara presented before the Court that needs to result in ea. Where the arguments diverged was on whether ea could only be reached by holding the appeal.  On September 2nd this year, the Court announced that the appeal is to be heard. The decision indicates that the judiciary may now be significantly more open to considering tikanga Māori arguments within common law issues—a striking divergence from when the courts were imposed onto our people and the days of Wi Parata. For this progress we ought to pay due credit to the perseverance of Māori. Their efforts in the legal sphere as activists, advocates, politicians, lawyers, and judges consistently promote tikanga Māori in this space.  This case is a notable example of how these efforts have found success, given that the tikanga issue only became relevant when prompted by Justice Williams. Without his presence on the bench, we may not be discussing this case as we are now. Furthermore, his prompt was supported in this instance by Chief Justice Glazebrook who is Pākehā, exemplifying how Pākehā can uphold obligations as Tāngata Tiriti.  Whilst this is an exciting development, it is important to recognise that the judiciary is a colonial institution and inherently limited in its ability to uphold tikanga Māori.  This case saw tikanga Māori being used as a tool to assist the development of a common law rule which we were forced to adopt. It isn’t an instance of tikanga Māori as law, but rather it acting as a consideration in developing new law. Whilst it is exciting that Ellis’ mana and the mana of his family have a chance to be taken seriously, we must also work to see a Tikanga Māori justice system implemented as guaranteed by Te Tiriti.  
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      • Racism at University of Waikato: Maori Academics Take a Stand
        • 14 Sep 2020
        • Salient
        • Te Aorewa Rolleston | Ngāi te Rangi, Ngāti Ranginui& Rachel Trow | Kāi Tahu, Ngāti Tūwharetoa <figure class=" sqs-block-image-figure intrinsic " > The University of Waikato / Te Whare Wananga o Waikato. Photo: SunLive An open letter to the University of Waikato calling on the institution to address “long-term, unresolved systemic” racism has received thousands of signatures.  The open letter states: “We call on the University of Waikato to actively demonstrate its commitment to the Treaty of Waitangi, to mātauranga Māori and Te Reo Māori in every aspect of the management and operation of the University.” The open letter comes after six University of Waikato academics wrote to the Ministry of Education informing them of the University’s culture and history of racism. The University initially refused to acknowledge any of the complaints. But, following backlash, an investigation has now been established.  The mamae staff have felt has been harvested by exclusion, neglect of Te Tiriti o Waitangi principles within the institution, underpaid staff, and the tokenistic treatment of the Māori academic community. Māori Deans and Professors have also not had their contracts renewed. World-renowned Academic Linda Tuhiwai Smith (Ngāti Awa, Ngāti Porou), Professor of Indigenous Studies at the University, contributed to the open letter and was frustrated and shocked that the University had not acknowledged the serious issues being raised.  Co-President of Te Kāuru, Luke Moss (Ngāti Maniapoto) told Te Ao Mārama that the submission process has been too short to account for student input. Moss stated that with less than a week for students to submit, students were being forced to choose: “do your essay or make a submission.”  Students were feeling “concerned”, overall, according to Moss. Students “come [to the University of Waikato] for the experts” and are worried about the quality of their tohu, their qualifications, if the University is not able to maintain its leading Māori academics. Moving forward, Moss wanted the submission process to be extended, and for the “audit to be truly external” as somes students were worried about having to submit their whakaaro through the University itself. The University told the New Zealand Herald that they “could not comment on individual employment matters.”
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