Independent review about racism claims at UoW

University of Waikato Chancellor Rt Hon Sir Anand Satyanand

The University of Waikato is launching an independent review following claims of casual and structural racism.

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

At a meeting on Tuesday, September 1, and on the recommendation of the Vice-Chancellor and the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Māori, the Council of the University of Waikato unanimously agreed to commission an independent review of the recent public claims about racism at the University and a review of the University’s progress in meeting its Treaty of Waitangi obligations.

University of Waikato Chancellor Rt Hon Sir Anand Satyanand says the Council has commissioned Sir Harawira Gardiner and Hon Hekia Parata to undertake a review, the terms of reference for which are below.

The review will commence on Monday, September 7.

“Staff and students with knowledge of the matters set out in the terms of reference have been encouraged to contact the University’s Legal Advisor to make a time to meet with the Reviewers.”

Terms of Reference

The Council of the University of Waikato have commissioned Sir Harawira Gardiner and Hon Hekia Parata to undertake a review with the following terms of reference:

To review the recent public claims of “structural and systemic racism” at the University of Waikato and the issues that have given rise to these claims, and to provide an assessment of them.

To review the University of Waikato’s progress in meeting its Treaty of Waitangi obligations, and in particular the University’s programmes to support Māori students, to attract and retain Māori staff, to integrate mātauranga Māori into its academic programmes and promote Te Ao Māori in the life of the University.

To make recommendations for improvements in policy and practice at the University of Waikato in relation to any of the above matters, those recommendations to be consistent with advancing the national and international standing of the University and the resource constraints under which the New Zealand university system currently operates.

Anand says the Reviewers will be provided with full and unrestrained access to any information that they feel is required for them to complete a rigorous review of the issues raised.

He says the reviewers may receive written or oral evidence, receive or request documentary evidence in support of submissions and request that individuals or groups meet with them. “Members of staff and students are encouraged to speak with the Reviewers either individually or in groups.

“The Reviewers may find it helpful to provide a report in two parts, with a report on item 1 above provided as soon as practicable and the report on items 2 and 3 above provided at a later time.

“Employment matters relating to individual staff are not formally within the scope of the review, but the reviewers will be provided with access to information on all matters that are directly relevant to the events that have sparked the review.”

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