Tukunga pāpāho

Ministry of Education cuts will disproportionately affect Pasifika

19 Pae 2024

More than 290 Pasifika early childhood and primary educators meeting in Auckland this week have urged the Government to re-consider proposed cuts to Pasifika staff and programmes at the Ministry of Education and within the wider public service.

Participants at NZEI Te Riu Roa's National Pasifika Fono cautioned that ministry cuts and proposals to disperse Pasifika teams would have a disproportionate impact on the already small amount of resource dedicated to Pasifika students.

Komiti Pasifika Auckland president Lagi Leilua says there is incontrovertible evidence that the current education system under-serves Pasifika students.

“The ministry's current Pasifika programmes and expertise to kickstart change and innovation in the system, as well as to ensure the cultures, languages, and identities of Pasifika students are recognised and valued in teaching and learning, are critical to turning that around.

"However, the proposed cuts in both community-facing and curriculum teams risk undermining the progress we’ve made so far.”

Mrs Leilua says cuts to the Ministries of Health, MSD, Pacific Peoples and other government agencies would also impact on Pasifika students and their families.

“Aotearoa is increasingly a Pacific nation, with a growing population of young Pasifika citizens. The Government should be investing in our children, not short-changing their education.”