22 December 2023
E kore au e ngaro, he kākano au I ruia mai i Rangiātea
Tēnā koutou katoa,
Not for the first time, and likely not the last, we find ourselves as Māori medical students and practitioners having to arm ourselves against the most recent scrutiny of our affirmative action pathways in Medicine.
The coalition agreement between National and ACT parties is nothing but political posturing and a blatant attack on improving health outcomes for Māori.
To all our tauira, rest assured that these pathways are not only valid but vitally important in order to achieve our collective goal. You as future practitioners, as researchers, and as champions for Māori health outcomes are valid. This letter is not to prove your worth to anyone; your worth is long written. You don’t exist for their sidelines, their entertainment or their prescribed activities. You exist for our tūpuna and our mokopuna, you exist to love and liberate. Don’t ever feel like you need to explain your existence.
From us, who have only recently come before you in this place and those who may have been around a little longer, we say – we love you, we stand by you and those who came before us, and for those that follow us. We will never take a backstep.
We continue to work alongside Māori leadership within the medical schools to advocate for and protect this Tiriti right. While we formulate our formal response please know that you as our Māori medical tauira have the full support of Te ORA.
For now, enjoy the study break, spend time with whānau and loved ones and have a safe holiday period.
Ki te kotahi te kākaho, ka whati; ki te kāpuia, e kore e whati