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


Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>


Corrections Corrected: Supreme Court Rules On Release Dates

Corrections has always followed the lawful rulings of the Court in its calculation of sentence release dates. On four previous occasions, the Court of Appeal had upheld Corrections’ practices in calculating pre-sentence detention. More>>


Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>


General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>


Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news