Waitangi Trib. Claim against Student Loan Scheme
TE MANA ÂKONGA (INC.)
National Mâori Tertiary Students’ Association
Maori Students lodge Waitangi Tribunal Claim against Student Loan Scheme
The Waitangi Tribunal Claim against the Student Loan Scheme, first lodged in 2000 by former law student Reweti Wiki on behalf of all Maori students, is being transferred today to Te Mana Akonga who will now become the primary claimant.
“I made the claim because the loan scheme results in an unjust debt for tertiary students. Statistics show that Maori take longer to pay back student loans which means we end up paying more for our education. This is clearly discrimination” said Reweti Wiki.
After the transfer, Te Mana Akonga will be working towards establishing grounds for an urgent hearing with the Waitangi Tribunal.
“A hearing will help bring the devastating impacts of student debt, and Maori student debt in particular, to the forefront of peoples minds in election year”, said Dr. Helen Potter, Kaituhono of Te Mana Akonga.
“We’ll be pushing to abolish the scheme which has seen Maori student debt hit over $1 billion which is more than the cap set for settling all historical claims” said Dr. Potter.
Te Mana Akonga also call the government to address the causes of burgeoning student debt – rising fees and lack of access to a liveable student allowance.