Victoria celebrates 21 years of Māori Admissions process

Press Release – Victoria University of Wellington

Victoria University’s Faculty of Law recently celebrated 21 years of its Māori Admissions process and the success of Māori in law.
12 October 2011

Victoria celebrates 21 years of Māori Admissions process

Victoria University’s Faculty of Law recently celebrated 21 years of its Māori Admissions process and the success of Māori in law.

In 1989, the Māori Admissions process was initiated in response to calls from various Māori legal practitioners and academics at the Faculty. Each year, 10 percent of available places in second year law courses are reserved for Māori students applying under the Māori Admissions process.

Selection is based primarily on an ability to complete the nominated workload, commitment to attend the support tutorial programme and a commitment to kaupapa Māori. Other areas considered include how the applicant will use their law degree to help their whānau, hapū and iwi. Applicants are interviewed by a panel normally comprising members of the Māori community, the Law Faculty and Māori legal practitioners.

“The process recognises that many Māori are working in a system that is foreign to them,” says organiser David Jones, the Faculty of Law’s Māori Law Students’ Co-ordinator.

The celebratory event at Te Herenga Waka marae on Victoria’s Kelburn campus attracted many illustrious legal alumni, including the Hon Georgina Te Heuheu; Sir Eddie Durie, the Hon Joe Williams and Judge Hemi Taimaunau.

“Not all the alumni who attended were part of the Māori Admissions process,” says Mr Jones, “but they are all integral to the programme succeeding. They are our link to the world of law.”

The Dean of Victoria’s Faculty of Law, Professor Tony Smith, attended the celebration. “The gathering together of alumni, students and staff was an inspired thought,” he says.

“For alumni, they saw a strong future in the students. For students, they were seated with Māori law heroes and heroines. For staff, it is immensely satisfying to see a policy be so successful and recognised.

“Our Faculty has a strong tradition of supporting Māori in law. We are the only law faculty in New Zealand with a Māori Law Students’ Co-ordinator. We are home to the nationally significant Legal Māori Project and we consistently produce top Māori law students who go on to become practitioners, politicians, academics and judges.”

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