When our excellence

constrains their privilege

The University of Otago, which has been considering a controversial proposal to cap its intake of Māori and Pacific medical students, admitted last week that it’s facing a legal challenge to its medical school admissions programme. Dr Papaarangi Reid, Professor of Māori Health at the University of Auckland, looks at what’s at stake.

What if my son wanted to be an All Black? Really, really, really wanted to be an All Black? 
Let’s say it was a passionate lifelong dream. That he was a gifted player — and while a parent would say that, others had said he had great potential.

And let’s say, too, that after a lot of hard work and many personal sacrifices for his fitness and success, my son was finally on the verge of All Black selection. That he had reason to be confident as he waited for the selection announcement. Based on selections in previous years, he was well placed to secure a position in the squad as usually there were a number of vacancies for his position.

But before they announced the team, the selectors talked about how they were focused on building a team for future success in upcoming national challenges. 

They acknowledged the quality of all the individual applicants, but they noted that there were historic weaknesses in some of the player positions and they were committed to addressing these as a priority. Also, they said, a team was more than a group of individual, albeit talented, players. They needed to be able to work together to meet future challenges and serve our nation. 

Link to article: https://e-tangata.co.nz/comment-and-analysis/when-our-excellence-constrains-their-privilege/


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