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Students Interrupt Steven Joyce at University Event

Press release - [07:00pm 19/08/2014] –
For Immediate Use

PRESS RELEASE: Reclaim UoA

Students Interrupt Steven Joyce at University Event

A group of 30 students this evening interrupted an event about ‘the future of tertiary education’ at which Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce was slated to speak. As Joyce began to speak, students interrupted with a speech of their own.

Mikaela Hunt, a representative of Reclaim UoA, says “We wanted to highlight the disconnect between the current government’s policy and the lived experiences of students.”

The actions of this tertiary education minister, including cutting student allowance for postgraduates, time limits on student loan availability, and the proposed changes to university councils came under fire by the group.

‘We decided to propose an alternative education policy, based on inclusiveness, equality and fully funded, fee free tertiary education. We see this as entirely possible when, annually, it would cost less than half of the tax cut this government gave to the top ten percent of New Zealanders,’ Mikaela Hunt.

The Tertiary Education Minister was visibly flustered by the interruption, and told the students to ‘keep their heads down.’

Hunt says, ‘We felt it was appropriate for those who make up the university -- students, staff and community members -- to speak at this event. We believe the tertiary education minister has no mandate to speak on behalf of these groups.’

ENDS

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