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Students lodge complaint with Committee

17 June 2005

Students lodge complaint with Regulations Review Committee over allowance cuts

NZUSA has today lodged a complaint with Parliament's Regulation Review Committee over the recent cuts to the Independent Circumstances Allowance for students.

"NZUSA is lodging this complaint on behalf of 6000 students who had their entitlement to the Independent Circumstances Allowance ripped off them this year as a result of a change to the student allowance regulations," said Andrew Kirton, Co-president of the New Zealand University Students' Association (NZUSA).

The government announced that it was amending the regulations relating to student allowances at the 2004 Budget, in order to bring them in line with the provisions of the Bill of Rights Act 1990. The changes affected over 6000 students under 25 who are or were married, as well as students who are financially independent from their parents.

"It is contrary to the purpose of the Bill of Rights Act to use it to remove existing rights. A living allowance for all students would remove the age discrimination students currently face when trying to access student allowances," said Camilla Belich, Co-President of NZUSA.

"We want the Regulations Review Committee to disallow the new regulation and immediately reinstate the Independent Circumstances Allowance," said Belich.

A legal opinion from a senior Wellington lawyer obtained by NZUSA in January this year found that the changes to the regulation were not a correct interpretation of the Bill of Rights Act.


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