Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search


Students Want What MPs Give (only) to Themselves


Students Want What MPs Give (only) to Themselves.

1 July 2014

Press Release: New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations

In the light of massive increases in the housing perk that was announced for Members of Parliament last week, students are calling attention to the fact that the support that many students get for housing costs has not increased in ten years.

The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations is calling for the lifting of the restriction which has prevented the support students can get from keeping pace with rising housing costs.

A student allowance includes an element for help with rent, but it is calculated on a different basis than all other low income New Zealanders – and considerably different from what MPs are entitled to. Housing support for students is capped at a maximum of $40 per week, a cap introduced in 2001. The Accommodation Supplement – that all low income New Zealanders who are not students are entitled to – provides support of up to $145 per week if you live in certain parts of Auckland, and $100 per week if you live in other expensive locations such as Wellington or Hamilton.

Support for students with housing costs is set at 50% of average rental costs in a particular location above $40 per week, with a maximum payment of $40. This has been in place since 2001. This cap was hit in 2003 in Auckland and in 2005 in Wellington. In Christchurch the cap was hit in 2008 and while rents have rocketed since the earthquake – and are now significantly above the national average – support has been stuck at a level of increasing insignificance.

“It’s all very well for Steven Joyce to claim, as he does, that the Student Support System in New Zealand is ‘about right’ but this glaring failure to keep pace with rising costs means that students getting allowances, who by definition cannot get support from their parents, simply cannot afford to study. In Wellington and Auckland in particular, the total student support available – the allowance plus the accommodation benefit – is less than the average rent”, said Daniel Haines, NZUSA President.

“The fact is, every other low-income New Zealander – plus MPs – qualifies for rent assistance based on the cost of their rent, but students don’t”, said Haines.

“Students deserve a rate of support that increases as their costs increase. MPs get increases themselves, and they should give increases to us. At the very least, the cap on the support for rent costs needs to be adjusted upwards to reflect the reality of increasing rents.”

NZUSA’s research is based on comparing WINZ data of accommodation benefit for selected residential areas with the rent per room of a three-bedroom house in an area of town that students live in, using Department of Building and Housing (now part of MBIE) data, as reported on a quarterly basis.

Information on Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch can be available at: Data on other regions also available.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


6-11 October: New Zealand Improvisation Festival Hits Wellington

Wellingtonians will have a wide selection of improv to feast on with a jam packed programme containing 22 shows, three companies from Australia, two companies from Auckland, one from Nelson, one from Christchurch and seven from Wellington. More>>


Bird Of The Year: New Zealanders Asked To Vote For Their Favourite Native Bird

Te Radar, David Farrier, Heather du-Plessis Allan and Duncan Garner are just some of the New Zealanders championing their favourite native bird in Forest & Bird’s annual Bird of the Year competition, which kicks off today.. More>>


Werewolf Film: It Follows - Panic In Detroit

Philip Matthews: When you heard last month that Wes Craven had died and you wanted to pay homage, you could have sat down with any one of five of his films that helped reinvent American horror at least three times over three decades... Or you could just have watched one of the greatest recent horror films that would probably not exist without Craven. More>>


Werewolf Music: Searching For The White Wail - On Art Pepper, etc

If the word ‘hipster’ means anything – which it arguably doesn’t – it seems to be more of an impulse than a condition. One always headed for the margins, and away from the white-bred, white-bread mainstream... More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: Leonardo da Vinci - The Graphic Work

The breadth of da Vinci’s work is incredible: from animals to weaponry, architecture to fabric, maps to botany. The works have been divided into themes such as Proportion Drawings, Anatomical Drawings and Drawings of Maps and Plans. Each section begins with a short essay. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: James Hector: Explorer, Scientist, Leader

Publication of this comprehensive 274-page account of the life and work of James Hector by the Geoscience Society of New Zealand marks the 150th anniversary of James Hector’s appointment as New Zealand’s first government scientist. More>>

On Shoestrings And Phones: Rossellini And Contemporary Film

Howard Davis: Roberto Rossellini's Neo-Realist Rome, Open City provides some fascinating technical parallels to Tangerine, an equally revolutionary Independent movie made exactly seventy years later. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news