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24 hours for $10 Billion

Media Release - 8 April 2008 - For Immediate Use

24 hours for $10 Billion

Auckland students will be commiserating as student debt hits $10 billion this Thursday. That’s equal to redeveloping Eden Park 42 times! AUSA is having a ‘debt ghetto’ in its Quad from 10am this Thursday going overnight to 10am April 11, which will involve students sleeping over in a cardboard 'box city' in the Quad.

“Our ‘debt ghetto’ visually symbolises student poverty and the burden that many students face through high living costs and borrowing to live,” says David Do, AUSA President.

“A continued lack of access to student allowances and rising tuition fees mean debt is continuing to rise to unacceptable levels. Given the way the cost of living is going, maybe all we can afford when we graduate is boxes!”

“$10 billion dollars of student debt in New Zealand is simply wrong. We call on the Government to lower the age of parental means testing to 20 in its upcoming Budget, to ensure that more students are properly supported while they are studying,” says Sophia Blair, AUSA Education Vice President.

10 Billion Day will feature veteran campaigner John Minto as keynote speaker at 12 noon, followed at 1pm by a political debate organised by the Debating Club on the issue of student debt.

There’s also a free BBQ, as well as an evening soup kitchen and breakfast the next morning for the hardy souls who stay overnight.

More information at


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