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Students welcome chance for choice

New Zealand National Party
Young Nats

Media Release
20 August 2009

Students welcome chance for choice

The Young Nats today welcomed the drawing of the Education (Freedom of Association) Amendment Bill from the ballot, which will allow for voluntary student union membership.

"The campaign for 'student choice' has had a real win today," says Young Nats President, Alex Mitchell.

"Students will welcome the chance for choice. It is great to see that this private member's bill, allowing for voluntary student union membership, has been drawn from the ballot.

"This is well overdue - students remain the only group in society still forced to join a union. Students can’t enroll at New Zealand’s Universities and Tertiary Institutions or even sign into their classes without having to pay a union membership levy.

"Students ought to have the same right and freedoms as every other New Zealander. They ought to be able to choose whether or not they join a student union.

“There are other issues we hope that this bill will address. For example we constantly see low turnout at student elections, such that student associations spend large amounts of students' money without any real core support from the student body.

“We hope this will be a wake up call to those currently involved to think about value for money for students, especially in the current global economic downturn.

“The Young Nats call on all MPs to vote for this bill through the first stage so we can see a robust public debate at the select committee stage. The National Party was founded upon the principles of choice and freedom –this bill will allow all students to enjoy the fundamental principle of freedom of association”

ENDS

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