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October 2, 2011 | by  | in Features | [ssba]

Maori Party – or, not

I attempted to interview Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples as part of this series; however, it was not to be. I sent him two emails, rang his press secretary five times unsuccessfully, and spoke to the press secretary once. In this conversation, the press secretary indicated they would be interested in an interview with Salient, and that they would get back to me about when would be a good time to do it. As yet, that hasn’t happened. They definitely have my details—I emailed them through twice and relayed them to the press secretary over the phone. At this stage, I can only assume the Maori Party isn’t interested in talking to Salient, or at the very least, me. Quite how they expect to win the tertiary vote without talking to student media is a mystery, and it remains to be seen how effective this strategy will be.

To summarise their tertiary education policy, the Maori Party believe it should be easier to access, and more targeted towards skills shortages. They advocate a universal student allowance, set at the level of the DPB, as well as a policy of fees reduction. Bridging courses would be made free, as according to Te Ururoa Flavell’s website, “bridging courses at tertiary level compensate for poor quality secondary education”.

Furthermore, the Maori Party supports a retraining allowance, as well as the investment in trade training and apprenticeships. There is a focus on training people for industries run by Iwi groups, such as farming, fisheries and forestry. They also believe skill shortages should be addressed through investment in industry training.


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