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Support of NZUSA Student loan campaign

Support of NZUSA Student loan campaign

Press release

ASTE Te Hau Takitini o Aotearoa fully endorses the campaign led by NZUSA co-presidents Paul Falloon and Liz Hawes. National President Tangi Tipene said today, “New Zealand’s student debt is $9.9bn and rising every second. This is money which could be better spent in education and health. The majority of students borrow to enable them to attend tertiary education, a move which this government has encouraged in order to contribute to our economic growth”.

Ms Tipene continued by saying, “Those very students are forced to find part- time employment to exist while in study and in some cases students work two jobs. They need to pay for accommodation, study resources, food, electricity, travel and their student fees. When students graduate they may have attained their qualification but they have inherited a debt, one which can take years to repay. It creates a delay for those students in the purchasing of homes, decisions about having children and an inability to do the obligatory “OE” that many politicians experienced in their days as graduates”.

She also said that the majority of politicians in this country have had the benefit of free study in their time; those very politicians who are now saying that students are financially responsible for their own study along with their parents who are also responsible for their children’s well being and often their student debt which they had no decision in making.

Ms Tipene said “This government wants the youth of this country to attain higher qualifications so that they can contribute to New Zealand’s economic growth but it seems a bit rich considering that those very students will spend decades trying to clear their student debt. Many of our members deal every day with the stresses caused by student debt in the class rooms and lecture theatres. This government needs to seriously consider what they really want students to achieve for this country and address the ballooning debt burden for our young people”. Ms Tipene also calls on all other educational unions to support this campaign.

Tangi Tipene
National President
ASTE Te Hau Takitini o Aotearoa


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