uni fee increases are a universally-applied process with very racialised implications for new zealand.
māori, pacific islands and other minority students overwhelmingly come from backgrounds of immense poverty. we can’t afford to take on huge debt. especially not when the amount of this debt increases 4% year after year. this process literally needs to stop or we’re going to see the deplorable figures of māori and other ethnic minority students in tertiary education drop even lower.
at the moment there are less than 10 Māori professors at the University of Auckland. some of them are retiring this year. how can the university ever function as the critic and conscience of society if it increasingly becomes a segregated institution?
if my younger brother chooses to attend university, he’s going to shoulder student debt ~48% higher than mine. this is assuming that the private lobbyist employed by the vice chancellor of my university to campaign for the removal on statutory limits on university fee increases is unsuccessful.
what about my children? at the current rates of increase, they’ll be taking on around three times as much debt as I do. that may just not be possible.
i don’t know how to fix this problem but i do know that looking at the future for māori in this country, for everyone in this country but especially those who are the most marginalised, feels like looking into a loaded gun. maybe what we did on monday didn’t fix things, but i’m not sorry for agitating.
if you think there’s no point in resisting if you’re going to be defeated, you’ve already sided with institutional power. if a two hour interruption to your study plans in the name of preserving the ability for future generations to have access to education isn’t worth it to you, you’re playing the politics of I Got Mine and i can’t find any sympathy in myself for you. we have obligations beyond ourselves and beyond our time and i’m holding myself to them.