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Student Voices Join Campaign Against Chorus' Copper Tax

Student Voices Join Campaign Against Chorus' Copper Tax

On on behalf of tertiary students throughout the country the New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) has joined a campaign led by the Consumers Institute and Internet NZ to stop the transfer of $600 million from consumers to Chorus Ltd’s shareholders.

“Like the rest of the coalition, we are opposed to what is effectively a $600 million tax on consumers, and believe that the responsibility for determining the pricing of the monopoly is the Commerce Commission and not the Cabinet”, said NZUSA Executive Director Dr. Alistair Shaw.

“We have other issues too. We absolutely support Ultra-Fast Broadband, it is essential for modern learning which increasingly has digital, on-line and distance elements, and reports suggesting that Minister Amy Adam’s proposal will in any way delay the roll-out of UFB are of grave concern” said Dr Shaw.

“We are also concerned about the transfer of money from consumers, including tens of thousands of students, to Chorus, when they will see no benefit from it whatsoever. These are students where studies have revealed that 1 in 6 live in absolute financial distress, and we’ve all seen the stories recently about appalling living conditions. For Chorus to lobby the government so they can take an extra $150 per year away from their already pressured living costs is simply outrageous.”

“Some of the students who arguably need UFB the most, such as distance students, are likely to never see it, but under this proposal will be charged for their copper-wires as if they were getting fibre. It is simply not fair.”

“When we raise with government that student loan terms are onerous, we’re told that if students made loan agreements they should get on with paying them back. Well, Chorus signed a contract, they should get on with honouring it.” 

Dr Alistair Shaw

Executive Director

New Zealand Union of Students' Associations

ENDS

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