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Interest free student loans: overseas charity work

Hon Dr Michael Cullen
Minister for Tertiary Education

27 March 2006 Media Statement
Interest free student loans for overseas charity workers

The government has named the 48 charitable organisations whose volunteers may be exempted from interest on their student loans while working for those organisations overseas.

Borrowers living overseas for more than six months will generally not qualify for the new interest free student loan policy which comes into effect on 1 April,” Tertiary Education Minister Michael Cullen said today.

“However, the law gives Inland Revenue the discretion to grant an exemption for certain borrowers who are overseas, including post-graduate students, government employees and people who work for free or for a token payment for a charitable organisation operating overseas.

“The regulation signed today specifies the 48 charitable organisations that are covered by the exemption. It will still be up to Inland Revenue to decide if individuals working for those organisations qualify for the full interest write-off under the policy,” Dr Cullen said.

The write-off will apply for a maximum of two years.

Charitable organisations not on the list can still apply to Inland Revenue for exemption status.

Under the new policy students who borrow from 1 April will only have to repay what they borrow. Students and graduates with existing loans will not be charged any further interest. The policy only applies to those remaining in New Zealand.


Charitable organisations for purposes of section 38AE(1)(b) of Student Loan Scheme Act 1992

- Adventist Development and Relief Agency International (ADRA)
- Alay Buhay Foundation Trust
- Amnesty International
- ANCOP Foundation International Inc
- Anglican Social Services (Hutt Valley) Trust Board
- Caritas Internationalis
- ChildFund International
- Christian Blind Mission International (CBMI)
- Christian World Service (CWS)
- CORSO Incorporated
- Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières
- ECPAT International
- Habitat for Humanity International
- Hibiscus Coast East Timor Appeal Trust (HETA Trust)
- IHC New Zealand Incorporated
- International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
- IN Network
- International Save the Children Alliance
- Mahitahi Catholic Overseas Volunteer Trust
- Mobility Equipment for the Needs of Disabled Trust (MEND)
- New Zealand Family Planning Association Incorporated
- New Zealand Vietnam Health Trust
- Oxfam International
- Pax Christi International
- RedR International
- Richmond Fellowship International (RFI)
- Rotary International
- Soroptimist International
- SurfAid International
- Te Ora Hou Aotearoa Incorporated
- TEAR Fund
- The Cambodia Trust
- The Foundation for Peace Studies Aotearoa/New Zealand
- Incorporated (The Peace Foundation)
- The Fred Hollows Foundation
- The Leprosy Mission International (TLM)
- The Salvation Army International
- The UMMA Trust
- The Volunteer Ophthalmic Services Overseas Charitable Trust (VOSO)
- Trade Aid New Zealand Inc
- United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)
- United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM)
- Vietnam Cambodia and Laos Support Network (VICALSN)
- Vision Pacific Charitable Trust
- Volunteer Service Abroad Inc
- World Vision International
- World Young Women’s Christian Association (World YWCA)

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