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Kiwis Forced To Delay Travel Due To Cost Of OE

MEDIA RELEASE

9 December 2003

Kiwis forced to delay travel as Britain increases cost of Big OE

Additional charges set to be imposed by the British Government will further delay young kiwis' travel plans as they struggle to save the amount required to make the trip says UK-based traveller services company 1st Contact.

Britain's Guardian newspaper reported yesterday that New Zealanders travelling to Britain on their 'Big OE' may now face charges of up to $1500 for the opportunity to work in the UK.

"This is the first we have heard of the surcharge," said 1st Contact's New Zealand Manager, Melanie Fletcher.

"If it is introduced the extra cost will further delay the travel plans of many young New Zealanders wanting to travel to Britain and increase the average age of New Zealanders travelling on their big OE."

The cost to a Kiwi of wanting to live and work in Britain is already high. Current requirements include having enough funds to support themselves during their holiday, about $2000 for flights and around $250 for travel insurance. A working holiday visa is a further $110 and a work permit $210.

"Saving for this on top of repaying often large student debt means many will be forced to delay their travel until they are older.

"This new surcharge will be yet another hurdle for people to overcome who are wanting to do their big OE."

ENDS

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