A friend of mine, academic Dr Melissa Derby, for whom I have a high regard, is a University researcher and promotor of literacy.
Being of Maori ancestry she cops cowardly abuse from the small coterie of Maori purported academics, mainly located at Waikato University, for not playing the game and her taking a Don Brash approach to special treatment for Maori students.
Melissa’s gutsy and takes it on the chin, therein maintaining her dignity. But bugger dignity. She’s due to come and stay soon so I’ll give her some training in throwing dignity to the winds and substituting counter-punching. I’ll also give her a bollocking for one of her past research papers referring to education being a natural human right. It’s no such thing for the very good reason there are no natural human rights, just wish lists of desirable aspirations.
Tell someone it’s their human right to say have a home and understandably they will then expect society to provide it for them. Nevertheless, Melissa’s paper published below should hearten those of us despairing on this issue.
She wrote this for the New Zealand Association for Research in Education on special privileges, or in other words, lower entry and expectation standards for Maori students which rightly she views is patronisingly insulting to maoridom.
Melissa is young and destined to be a big name in public affairs in the future.