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Angry Students Call for Rankin to Resign

Press Release
For Immediate Release

Thursday 9 March, 2000


Angry Students Call for Rankin to Resign

Student outrage at WINZ handling of student loans and allowances erupted at a protest by 350 students in Auckland today.

The students from Auckland University, AUT and Manukau Institute of Technology protested outside the WINZ Student Services office in Central Auckland to call for the resignation of WINZ head, Christine Rankin. This is the latest in a series of protests that have been occuring nationwide over the last two weeks to express anger at the incompetence of WINZ that has seen students without money to pay fees, rent, living costs and course related costs.

Students demanded that Rankin front up to students at Auckland campuses or resign. “It is unacceptable that Christine Rankin denies responsibility for this mess when it is obvious that under her management WINZ has left thousands of students without money,” said Megan Hall, a spokesperson for the group organising today’s protest, Fightback.

“We are already 2 weeks into the academic year yet only 36% of applications have been processed. WINZ immediately needs to employ more staff to deal with the backlog,” said Ms Hall.

“This mess only adds insult to injury. Students already owe $4 billion. For the privilege of owing thousands for an education that should be free, students are forced to wait hours on overloaded telephone lines and weeks for their money to come through,” continued Ms Hall.

“We call upon the Labour led government and its coalition partner, which has a policy of free tertiary education, to sack Christine Rankin and initiate concrete steps towards abolishing fees and debt,” concluded Ms Hall.

Contact:

Megan Hall 021 216 7868

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