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Losing With Winz

Thursday 20 January, 2000


Student leaders at Auckland University are being inundated with students’ suffering severe financial hardship as problems with WINZ Student Services continue.

“Student are ringing the Student Services Hotline and being disconnected because of overloading. This is of extreme concern given that the busiest time for student services will be from mid February to March. If they cannot cope now, how will they cope then?” asks Eva Neitzert, Education Vice President at the Auckland University Students Association.

“Moreover, WINZ has again been slow to process applications. Some students have still not received their allowance despite Summer School Courses commencing on January 6. Demand for the AUSA Foodbank has been phenomenal as students have no money for food,” continued Ms Neitzert.

Concern has also been expressed about the new “interest free loans”. Interest will be accrued throughout the year for all students, even those eligible for the “interest free loan”, and then in 2001 IRD will send applications out for an interest write off. “Clearly, this is an unnecessary beauracratic move that throws leaves students with yet more uncertainty about their finances. If students are eligible for the interest free loan according to their loan application form, then interest should not be charged throughout the year and no secondary application should be necessary,” said Ms Neitzert.

“After the heavy criticism of WINZ while in opposition, we now call on the Associate Minister of Education – Tertiary, to clean up the mess that is student finance,” concluded Ms Neitzert.

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