National out of the race for thinking voters
A new Thinking Person’s Guide to Voting has been launched detailing tertiary education policies of political parties to support voters in making informed choices on November 8.
“We’ve created this guide in recognition that what New Zealand voters need is not more three-second sound bytes from political leaders, but the chance to rationally evaluate the different parties policies for themselves,” said Liz Hawes, Co-President of the New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA).
“We surveyed the tertiary education policies of the eight political parties in Parliament to assist voters in making an informed voting choice on election day, said Hawes. “By working together the student movement and a sympathetic, motivated public can ensure that politicians present an alternative to the current system of socially destructive and unsustainable student debt and heavily restricted allowances”, added Hawes.
With over 400,000 current students and 500,000 student loan borrowers, tertiary education policy affects many New Zealanders. High debt, high fees and heavily restricted access to allowances are the main student support issues. A clear understanding of the various parties’ policies is crucial when voters are deciding which government would be prepared to address them.
“NZUSA has long advocated for the introduction of universal student allowances. This would demonstrate genuine commitment to making tertiary education affordable and accessible. Our survey revealed only Labour, the Greens, NZ First, and the Maori Party fully understand the need for this policy and are prepared to implement it,” said Hawes.
“In stark contrast National has refused to reveal its tertiary policy before the election, despite earlier promising to, leaving voters in the dark on what they would do, and the other minor parties do not support increased allowance eligibility at all,” said Hawes.
Students’ associations are distributing the Thinking Person’s Guide to Voting in their local areas, and NZUSA encourages all voters to consider the positive impact on the economy of progressive education policies such as universal student allowances when casting their vote this election day.