Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


National, WINZ To Blame For Student Loan Problems

The Minister of Social Services and Employment, Steve Maharey, said he would not allow the previous Government or WINZ to escape accountability for problems with student loans processing which have emerged this week.

Mr. Maharey this afternoon summonsed WINZ and Ministry of Education officials to a round table meeting with students and tertiary institution representatives to identify what is going wrong with loans processing and how the problems can be fixed. The groups at the meeting agreed that the overall objective was for students to get their student loans approved so that they could enrol for studies this year. After the meeting Mr Maharey said he was appalled that National had failed to properly supervise the transfer of loans processing to WINZ which occurred on January 1.

"Solving the problems students are now facing is the most pressing issue for me at present. I'm very pleased that students and tertiary institutions are offering their goodwill and expertise to WINZ to fix the problems emerging as soon as possible.

"However Mr Sowry and Mr McCardle need to tell students why they failed to ensure that WINZ was properly able to cope with student loan applications. Coming on top of the disastrous allowances bungle last year I am shocked at how poorly the previous ministers managed the transfer of loans to WINZ.

"Today we fully canvassed what is causing the problems students are experiencing. I was encouraged that tertiary institutions have agreed to be more flexible with their enrolment processes and that the students have agreed to help us publicise off-peak calling times when currently few calls are being made.

"WINZ is also producing a crystal clear plain-English guide to the loans process for student associations and MPs offices. WINZ is hiring extra staff to cope with the peak enrolment period.

"Overall however all these problems would have been able to have been sorted out properly and professionally if the previous government had simply taken the advice we offered them last year. They needed to pilot WINZ processing of loans on a few campuses.

"My Associate Minister, Ruth Dyson, and I are doing all we can to fix this problem as a matter of urgency but there is no doubt that National's poor oversight of the transfer process has made this job much harder," Steve Maharey said.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Bridges’ ‘Meth Crooks’ Leadership Failure

Back in June, Bridges publicly accepted that Housing NZ had got it wrong, and that the National government had acted upon bad advice.

Now, you’d think this admission would create a broad bi-partisan basis for compensation to those families who had been unfairly evicted, at considerable cost and emotional distress. Some people had lost their possessions in trying to meet the expense of the upheaval.

Not everyone felt so compassionate. More>>


Multimedia & Transcript: Acting PM's Press Conference

Winston Peters, Acting Prime Minister while Jacinda Ardern is in New York for the UN Leaders' Week, held a short press conference Monday after chairing this week's cabinet meeting. More>>

General Assembly: Ardern Rejects Trump Call For War On Drugs

New Zealand will not be signing the United States' document calling for global action on the war on drugs, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. Ms Ardern is in New York for the United Nations General Assembly this week, along with about 140 other world leaders. More>>


Pay Equity: Cabinet Funds Deal For Oranga Tamariki Social Workers

The Minister said that an agreement in principle has been reached between Oranga Tamariki and the PSA on a settlement worth $114.6m over five years. More>>


Hunting v Pest Control: Tahr Control Needed To Protect Alpine Habitats

A cull of introduced Himalayan tahr browsing conservation land in Kā Tiritiri o Te Moana/ the Southern Alps is needed to protect special alpine plants and their habitats, Conservation Minister, Eugenie Sage said. More>>


Protest At Sea: Judge Discharges Greenpeace Activists

The judge today discharged Norman and Howell without conviction, saying the cumulative consequences of a conviction would be out of proportion to what was “low level” offending off the Wairarapa coast in April 2017. More>>


No Reshuffle: Meka Whaitiri Removed As A Minister

Meka Whaitiri will be removed as a Minister with immediate effect... The decision was made after receiving a report into an incident that occurred on 27 August in Gisborne, involving Meka Whaitiri and one of her staff. More>>





InfoPages News Channels