Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

Bradford Goes Silent On Med Student Protests

by Selwyn Manning

The Government has gone silent over student protests at universities around New Zealand. Today’s latest, in a week of revolt, is a medical student collective lambasting of a compounding student loan debt.

A spokesperson for Tertiary Education Minister, Max Bradford, told Scoop that he will not be making a statement on the protests or criticisms of the Government’s education policies “at this stage”.

The silence has outraged the student unions and associations. Protest action has built up around the country with thousands of members joining a collective outrage.

The pressure intensified on Mr Bradford after yesterday’s “fending/tackle” incident at Canterbury University.

Three MPs were in a car. Students surrounded the vehicle and lay on the ground to prevent its departure. At least one student started to let down the car’s tyres.

Mr Bradford’s office says this group was out of control. There was no student association representatives there to control them, nor from the university administration, nor from the police.

The MPs then left the car and walked through the grounds of the university. At one point a student stood on Mr Bradford’s foot, and shouted slogans at the top of his voice right in the Minister’s face. The Minister brushed the student aside and kept walking. Eventually the police arrived and the three MPs left the campus.

This appears to have driven Mr Bradford to ground on the matter.

Students at Auckland, Victoria, Canterbury and Otago universities, are divided over protest methods employed.

But political pressure is mounting.

Today, Auckland and Otago medical students have shown their outrage of National’s tertiary education policy. The students allege this amounts to a huge social cost to the country.

Karen Skinner Co-President of the New Zealand University Students' Association (NZUSA) says: “Action taken by Auckland and Otago medical students will again highlight the huge societal cost of increasing fees and growing student debt.

"National has created a time bomb, the full effects of which are yet to be felt.
Students may be accumulating debt now - but it is the public who will suffer the consequences in the long-run.

"The National government has been completely irresponsible with their failure to assess or monitor the effect, or potential impact on our society of the student loan scheme and skyrocketing debt.”

"Every student who graduates with a huge debt will be forced to make life decisions based on their financial situation. This means that they will be forced to pursue jobs based on the salary or will increase user-charges to the public.

"Those people unable to pay the inevitable increasing user-charges will be unable to access vital services. Today medical students are highlighting this issue in the health sector, but the problem extends to other areas for example legal advice or counseling.

"The government will eventually have to pay for this debt as well. For example teachers, nurses and other public servants will have to demand higher pay to cover their debt repayments.

"New Zealand needs a government who will take positive action in the tertiary sector before it is too late. We need National out" concluded Ms Skinner.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

UK Cabinet Backs Deal: Gordon Campbell On The Latest Roll Of The Brexit Dice

Brexit has left the British public looking like a nation of Wellington bus commuters. In both cases, the unholy mess bears no resemblance to what people were promised or the spin being used to justify it.

In both cases, the only sane response – to go back to the way things were and write the whole thing off as a ghastly mistake – is deemed to be utterly out of the question. More>>

 
 

Pike River: Mine Drift Re-Entry Plan To Proceed

“I’ve decided the Te Kāhui Whakamana Rua Tekau Mā Iwa - Pike River Recovery Agency, recommended course of action to enter the drift, using the existing access tunnel, is by far the safest option,” said Andrew Little. More>>

ALSO:

Appointments: New High Commissioner To Australia Announced

“Dame Annette King needs no introduction given her long running career as a parliamentarian where she has previously held a number senior Cabinet portfolios, including Justice, Police and Health. She also was Parliament’s longest serving female MP with 30 years’ service,” said Mr Peters. More>>

ALSO:

Two Years Since Kaikoura: Silvia Cartwright To Lead Inquiry Into EQC

“The inquiry will be the first of its kind under the Public Inquiries Act 2013 and will have all the powers of a Royal Commission, be independent of Government and make its report directly to the Governor-General. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Royal Commission Into Child Abuse

Obviously, it is good news that the coalition government has broadened the scope of its Royal Commission into the abuse of children, beyond its previous focus on children in state care. More>>

ALSO:

Cases Delayed: Court Staff Refuse To Handle Sentencing Papers

Dozens of court cases have reportedly been delayed, as court staff escalate industrial action at two Auckland courts by enforcing a ban on handling sentencing papers. More>>

ALSO:

Education: Primary Teachers Rolling Strikes

RNZ Report: More than 100,000 primary school students in Auckland will be home from school today as teachers and principals walk off the job for the second time this year. It's the start of a week of rolling one-day strikes around the country, after the collapse of contract negotiations last Thursday. More>>

ALSO:

"Process Was Sound": Inquiry Into Haumaha Appointment Released

The Inquiry’s purpose was to examine, identify, and report on the adequacy of the process that led to the appointment. It found the process was sound and no available relevant information was omitted. More>>

ALSO:

Govt Loses In Supreme Court: Call For Debate On Prisoners' Right To Vote

The court earlier this week upheld a High Court decision which found that a law restricting a prisoner's right to vote was inconsistent with the Bill of Rights. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels