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


Minister weaseling out of student loan debacle

Minister caught weaseling way out of responsibility for student loan debacle

WINZ officials today at Parliament’s Social Services Select Committee confirmed they advised Government against proceeding so quickly with changes in the student loan scheme, because of implementation concerns that they had insufficient time to conduct an impact assessment of the new policy and they were declined funding by the new Government for an information campaign to ensure smooth administration of student loans by WINZ, says Nick Smith, National’s Education spokesman.

“Minister of Social Services Steve Maharey has egg all over his face. All through January and February he has bagged WINZ officials and the previous government over the student loans debacle.

“It is now revealed that not only was he advised against implementing the changes so quickly but that he denied WINZ the funding to ensure the loans scheme could be successfully implemented.

“Mr Maharey has also tried to weasel his way out of responsibility by denying in written Parliamentary Questions that he had received any funding requests from WINZ to assist in implementing the scheme.

“WINZ specialist services manage Patricia Reade told the committee that a request for additional funding for an advertising campaign informing students of WINZ calling centre opening times and encouraging them to apply early had been made in December after the change in policy. The committee was told that the funding had been declined.

“Mr Maharey owes WINZ officials and students an apology. It is he and not WINZ that is responsible for the WINZ loan debacle. He should stop weaseling his way out of the responsibility he must take for decisions he has made,” says Dr Smith.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Anti-Corbyn Split In British Labour

The resignation of seven UK Labour MPs in protest against the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn is another example of the centre-left’s readiness to sabotage its own cause – such things are always allegedly done on principle – even if the outcome hands the country over to Conservative rule for five more years.

Certainly, a technician hot-miked at the splitters’ press conference was pretty sure this would now be the outcome, and he accidentally informed the nation to that effect. More>>


Auckland Action Against Poverty: Motels Profit From Housing Crisis

A single motel which charges up to $1,500 per week per room has received over $3 million worth of Government funds to provide emergency assistance, despite never having a Code Compliance Certificate – an offence under the Building Act – and receiving a series of longstanding complaints from occupants... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Alleged China Relations Crisis

If New Zealand’s relations with China are ‘deteriorating’ then you still need a microscope to detect the signs... More>>


Environment: Government To End Tenure Review

“Tenure review has resulted in parcels of land being added to the conservation estate, but it has also resulted in more intensive farming and subdivision on the 353,000 ha of land which has been freeholded. This contributed to major landscape change and loss of habitat for native plants and animals,” said Eugenie Sage. More>>


Bell Tolls: Big Changes, Grand Mergers Planned For Vocational Training

“At a time when we’re facing critical skill shortages, too many of our polytechnics and institutes of technology are going broke... More>>


Sallies' State Of The Nation: Progress Stalled In Reducing Inequality

The report shows a lack of tangible progress in key areas including record levels of household debt and a growing gap in educational achievement between poorer and more well off communities. More>>


Party Politics In Tax Morale Survey: SSC To Seek Answers From IRD

Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins has today asked the State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes to examine IRD’s reported inappropriate use of a public survey. More>>





InfoPages News Channels