20 October 2017
Students congratulate Labour-led Government
The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) says that student issues should be a top priority in the first 100 days of the new Labour-led Government.
‘We congratulate the New Zealand Labour Party on forming a Government with New Zealand First and the Greens. All three parties have pledged increases in student financial support and free tertiary education, and we look forward to seeing that become a reality’, says National President Jonathan Gee.
Prime Minister-elect Jacinda Ardern pledged to introduce one free year of tertiary study and a $50 raise to allowances and living costs from 2018 if elected. NZ First’s Up Front Investment policy introduces free tertiary education, a universal living allowance and student loan debt write-off for those who work in New Zealand. The Greens’ policy introduces free off-peak public transport and universal postgraduate allowances for students.
Although NZUSA is resolutely non-partisan, and works with all parties, students overwhelmingly supported the policies of the new coalition. Students cast over 70% of their votes at on-campus voting booths for one of Labour, Greens or NZ First. They naturally expect to see what they were promised delivered.
'These policies are good for students, and good for the country. We all benefit from greater participation and support in tertiary education, through producing New Zealanders who are well-placed to succeed in their careers and make a positive contribution to society.’
NZUSA looks forward to working with the incoming Government, and incoming Minister of Tertiary Education, to achieve a barrier-free education for all New Zealanders.
‘Over the next parliamentary term we will be working hard to ensure this Government makes continued progress on improving the lives of students. This includes financial support, but also healthier homes, addressing the stresses affecting students’ mental health, and taking action on grand challenges such as climate change.’