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Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 28, No. 2. 1965.

Race Relations

page 8

Race Relations

NZ Contrasts

Children walking towards photographer

It has become the "done thing" to say "Of course, we in New Zealand have a colour problem, but we will not admit It." This sort of statement Is easy to make, but it is harder to substantiate. Recently the writer of this article spent a few weeks in the East Cape area of the North Island, and was particularly interested to see the Maoris in that area. Two particular impressions were gained.

The first is that the children there must be amongst the happiest in the world. They play together for hours on end without ever quarrelling. And yet they did not need company to be happy: frequently a young Maori child would be observed quietly walking up and down a road, watching, observing much, and doing little.

The second impression gained was that the adult Maori male can be a particularly good worker. A good example of this was afforded one evening near Tokomaru Bay, where a Maori gang was loading a coaster with wool bales. The all-Maori gang, with a Maori foreman, worked calmly, never hurrying, yet never stopping, for hours. At the end of this time all the wool was loaded and so they packed up and left.

An engineer of the coaster claimed that this was typical of the behaviour of all-Maori dock crews. He said that he would far rather that his ship was loaded by Maoris than by whites, who, particularly in Wellington, were always looking for the slightest excuse to lay off work.

He said that these Maoris did not only load ships (indeed they could not, for ships called there only infrequently), They would do anything that was offering—truck driving, shearing, fencing, tree-felling, and road construction to give but a few examples. So the Maoris are not only skilled wharfies, but they are skilled at many other Jobs as well.

So much in the meantime then for the Maori in the environment which is predominantly his own. What of the Maori in the European Society?

Evidence suggests that this is not so happy. Mr. John Rangihau of the Maori Affairs Department told students at the New Zealand Students' Association Congress recently.

"I have been refused accommodation in hotels from Auckland to Invercargill, and simply because I am a Maori."

He told how he had worked out that there was discrimination against him as a Maori, for, he said, "I have gone around the corner and rung the same place up and said, I am Mr. So and So,' and given a pakeha name, and they have said, 'Yes,' and then they have turned around and said. "Oh! But I am sorry, but I thought Mr. So and So was a Pakeha.'

"This was quite straight out like this," he said, "and they have done this to me, and they have been doing this to almost everyone else. Legislation has been passed so that this sort of thing ... this wrong can be righted, but if we can sit back and say that Maoriatanga and what it stands for must die out, so that people like myself and others can be treated in the same way as any other person, then I think we would be deluding ourselves, because It would be better for Maoris to be able to keep their own identification, and yet fit in with the total society of New Zealand."

This article has reported on three observations of Maori-Pakeha relationships. But three observations are not enough to form a judgment. Accordingly. Salient considers that it would be worthwhile if all students could write of any incidents, trivial or important, that they have witnessed or can authenticate, that would help to elucidate the true nature of the relationships existing in New Zealand at present between the Maori and the Pakeha.

This way the observations of many people will be recorded, and the effect of any one person's observations and bias will be reduced.

The task of collating the information received at the editorial room will be undertaken by Salient's staff and the results will be published in due course. If sufficient people contribute, the study could be well worthwhile.

Educating for Apartheid

It was against the background of the report printed below that the Students' Association last year supported a move for the promotion of scholarships for South African students. The report gives in concise form the main reasons for the scholarships, an appeal for which is to be launched shortly.

In South Africa today apartheid permeates the education system. It is becoming obvious that black South Africans are finding it increasingly difficult, to pursue higher education.

The system of education is designed to make African children accept an inferior position. In the words of Dr. Verwoerd, speaking to the South African Parliament in 1954. "If the native in South Africa today hi any kind of school in existence today is being taught to expect that he will live his adult life under the policy of equal rights he is making a big mistake."

The passing of the University apartheid legislation in 1959 has firmly established the principle of apartheid in universities. Under this legislation it is a criminal offence for a non-white student to register in any university except a Tribal College without having first obtained permission from the Minister of Bantu education.

Since this legislation was passed the numbers of non-white students admitted to the universities of Capetown and Witwatersrand have been reduced substantially. No non-white students have been admitted to the non-European section of the University of Natal, except for the non-white Medical School.

In 1960 the Government prohibited the admission of African students to the Medical School at Witwatersrand, thus leaving the non-white Medical School at Natal as the only medical school in the country for non-whites. The facilities at this school limit its capacity to 60 non-white students.

On the basis of one doctor to every eight or nine hundred people (the ratio in Great Britain) it is estimated that South Africa needs 14.700 doctors. The present output of doctors can never fulfil this requirement.

Many staff appointments to the University Colleges of Fort Hare. Turfloop, and Ngoye have been made on political grounds rather than academic skills. Some posts have been made rewards to Afrikaaner Nationalist Party members.

In the "Tribal Colleges' of Fort Hare, Turfloop, Ngoye. Western Cape, and Salisbury Is. the National Union of South African students is banned and students have been refused admission on political grounds. No student meeting may be organised, no Press statement can be released, no student publication is allowed, and no visitors can be received without the approval of the university authorities.

A statement issued by the Government Information Office says: "From an ideological point of view the biggest achievement of the separate colleges will be the cessation of the particular liberalist indoctrination which is a prominent feature of the open universities," The Prime Minister. Dr. Verwoerd, stated "the new Bantu universities will not turn the Bantu into black Englishmen to struggle against the Afrikaaner."

At the lower education level a similar situation exists In the debate on Bantu education Dr. Verwoerd announced; "When I get control of Bantu education, I will reform it so that the natives will be taught from childhood to realise that equality with Europeans is not for them.

"Until now." he also said, '"the African has been subjected to a school system which drew him away from the community and misled him by showing him the green pastures of European society in which he is not allowed to graze."

Of the million African children who receive primary education, only a small proportion proceed beyond two years of education and of these only three per cent go on to secondary school.

A heavy decline in the amount of money spent on Bantu education is shown in the latest report available. In 1961-62 the expenditure on Bantu education per person was R17.99 and on white education R100.00 In 1962-63 these figures were respectively R12.46 and R140.00. (R2 equals £NZ1). The comparative New Zealand figure is R200.

In 1958, expenditure on school feeding of African children amounted to R893.686, while in 1962-63 this had fallen to R70.000. In 1958 the subsidy on night schools was R46.000, in 1962-63 R2000—a decrease of 95 per cent.

In November 1959, in order that the deficiencies in African higher education might be remedied, the Bishop of Johannesburg, the Rt. Rev. Ambrose Reeves, presided over a meeting of five prominent South Africans. Its trustees included Nobel Prize winner Chief Luthull, Alan Paton (of "Cry, the Beloved Country"), D. Craighead, President of the Liberal Party, and the Bishop himself.

Under this scheme in 1963. 120 students were studying for degrees. The qualifications needed are three subjects to the advanced level of the London GCE. Because of the high standard required, up to two years are spent in preparation before work on the degree is started so that probably most degrees will take up to six years to complete.

Because of limited possibilities, the growth of the scheme (Sached) is relatively slow, and the part New Zealand could play in helping to educate Africans Is very extensive.