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Time Bomb in the Hands of the New Government


MEDIA RELEASE Date: 1 August 2002 Attention: Education/Political Reporters For Immediate Release

Time Bomb in the Hands of the New Government

The Aotearoa Tertiary Students Association (ATSA) said today that the incoming government would inherit a ticking time bomb in the form of Student Debt.

ATSA ran a 'Student Debt is a Time bomb' campaign in the lead up to the election to highlight to all political parties the severity of student debt. The response to years of lobbing on this issue by ATSA, and similar organisations, was that all political parties gave some pre-election promise to reduce escalating student debt. The real test will be what promises are kept, and what action is taken by the new government.

"ATSA's Time Bomb Campaign demanded free fees and universal allowances, but also progressive steps to achieving these," said Julie Pettett, ATSA National President. "ATSA has not just demanded free education but also given realistic steps to achieving it."

"All political parties agree that measures must be taken to reduce student debt," said Pettett. "The Student Debt Time Bomb is now in the hands of the new government. ATSA believes that this government has been given the mandate from voters to address Student Debt and we will hold all parties accountable for working together on this issue".

"We will be talking to all new MPs to remind them that the Student Debt Bomb they have inherited now lies ticking in their hands. It is time to act now for the sake of all New Zealanders."

ENDS

For further comment, contact: Julie Pettett ATSA National President Cell phone 029 939 1417 or (04) 9391417

The Aotearoa Tertiary Students' Association - Representing University, Polytechnic and Wananga students

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