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Loophole to be closed - Mallard


Loophole to be closed - Mallard

The government is to close a loophole in the law relating to permanent residents and their ability to get free or subsidised education for their children while they return to their country of origin, Education Minister Trevor Mallard announced today.

The proposed amendment to the Tertiary Education Reform Bill will allow the definition of “domestic student” to be changed, by way of a regulation.

“This amendment is to safeguard against possible abuse of the system,” Trevor Mallard said.

“Currently there is anecdotal evidence that people are coming to New Zealand and gaining permanent residence status, only to return to their country of origin, leaving their children in New Zealand for subsidised education, with the expectation that the children will also return to their country of origin.”

“This may mean they are not contributing to New Zealand society or the economy, as is expected of permanent residents. This problem may be occurring from primary through to tertiary education.”

Further policy work will be done to determine how best to amend the definition of domestic student.

The resulting regulation might, for example, add a requirement to be a resident for tax purposes or a requirement based on returning residency.

The proposed regulation will be debated by Parliament as part of a confirmation bill.


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