Message from Joanne Baxter (Incoming Dean of Medical School Otago)

It is not acceptable that Māori medical students continue to experience racism during their time at medical school. No student or staff (regardless of age, ethnicity, gender, class,  sexual orientation, perceived level of ability, religion) should experience any form of harassment, bullying, discrimination or intimidation.  This includes harassment via verbal, physical, or written means (including via social media).

Institutions that provide medical education must take a firm and clear stand and take action, to ensure the environments we provide are culturally safe and anti-racist.  Māori have a right to work and study in environments where Māori students and staff thrive, and not places where people experience racism, harassment or abuse. 

As the incoming Dean of te Kura Whaiora o Ōtepoti, (the Dunedin School of Medicine), and as a Māori Doctor, I want to support the DSM and all our Schools to be a place where Māori students thrive.  In this regard I do wish to hear from TOKO collectively, or from individual Māori students within the School, if you are experiencing racist or discriminatory behaviour.   

More widely the Māori Health Workforce Development Team, and Māori staff across Otago health campuses including in Christchurch and Wellington are available to provide support.  Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you are experiencing racism, discrimination, bullying or harassment of any sort.  Key contacts for Otago Medical Students include:

Dunedin Campus (ELM or ALM): or or

Christchurch Campus:

Wellington Campus:


Joanne Baxter

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