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24 hours for $10 Billion tomorrow

THE AUCKLAND UNI ERSITY STUDENTS' ASSOCIATION (INC.) TE ROOPU TAUIRA O TE WHARE WAANANGA O TAMAKI MAKAURAU 4 Alfred S , Auckland

Telephone: 309 0789, Fax: 306 6580

Email: ausa.presiden @auckland.ac.nz www.ausa.auckland.ac.nz

Media Release - 9 April 2008 - For Immediate Use

24 hours for $10 Billion tomorrow

Auckland students will be commiserating as student debt hits $10 billion tomorrow. That’s equal to redeveloping Eden Park 42 times! AUSA is having a ‘debt ghetto’ in its Quad from 10am tomorrow going overnight to 10am Friday April 11, which will involve students sleeping over in a cardboard 'box city' in the Quad.

AUSA has had keen interest in the box city. “We’ve had a lot of interest from students and staff on our upcoming debt ghetto, and we’re looking forward to a big day tomorrow,” says David Do, AUSA President.

“Our ‘debt ghetto’ visually symbolises student poverty and the burden that many students face through high living costs and borrowing to live,” says David Do. “A continued lack of access to student allowances and rising tuition fees mean debt is continuing to rise to unacceptable levels. Given the way the cost of living is going, maybe all we can afford when we graduate is boxes!”

“$10 billion dollars of student debt in New Zealand is simply wrong. We call on the Government to lower the age of parental means testing to 20 in its upcoming Budget, to ensure that more students are properly supported while they are studying,” says Sophia Blair, AUSA Education Vice President.

More information at www.ausa.org.nz Timeline of events: 10am: Start of box city 12pm: Veteran campaigner John Minto key note speaker 1pm: Political debate on student debt, held by the Debating Society. 2-5pm: DJ in the Quad 6pm: Soup Kitchen in the Quad 7-8am: Breakfast in the Quad for the hardy souls who stay overnight. 9-10am: Box city wrapup.

ENDS

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