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Ed Sheeran

Kaumatua back Unitec resistance

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Kaumātua with past connections to Unitec and Māori education in Tāmaki Makaurau have come together to support Māori staff at Unitec.

Four members of the Unitec rūnanga resigned this month after sole Māori member of the polytechnic’s executive board lost his position because of a merger with Manukau Institute of Technology.

Tūhoe kaumātua Tunuiarangi McLean says the kaumātua group, Te Tira Kāpuia, believed poor decisions at governance and management levels have affected Unitec’s Māori staff, students and community.

Haare Williams, who wrote the document Te Noho Kotahitanga that was supposed to establish a treaty partnership framework for the institution, says there had been a history of struggle at Unitec including the battle to build its marae Ngākau Māhaki over the objections of board members.

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