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National and Act Don't Even Understand Questions

"There is absolutely no point in asking National or Act for the answers to the problems faced in tertiary education, they don't even seem to understand the questions!" That was the conclusion reached by Victoria University of Wellington Students' Association President-elect Chris Hipkins after watching Saturday night's Decision 99 Election Special on TV1.

"ACT's spokesperson, Donna Awatere-Huata didn't answer questions relating to student debt, instead she chose to talk about primary school students not being able to read and write. I agree that this is a concern, but so is tertiary education and you would think that as a spokesperson for one of the major political parties Ms. Awatere-Huata would at least be able to answer the question being asked," Mr. Hipkins said.

"Nick Smith wasn't much better at keeping to the point, and his answers were full of hollow rhetoric and little real analysis of the issues. Mr. Smith failed to acknowledge the fact that the $3.5 billion students have clocked up under the student loan scheme is a major concern, and the changes National has announced won't bring the interest rate down one cent,"

Chris Hipkins said it became blatantly obvious during the debate that neither National nor Act were willing to seriously examine the real problem areas in tertiary education. Both parties were being driven by a new-right ideology that would result in tertiary education becoming the domain of the white, middle-classes.

"Every New Zealander who believes that a quality education system is the key to our country's future needs to re-examine what the major parties are offering. It has become abundantly clear during the course of the campaign that the only way to deal with the real issues in education is to vote for a change of government,"

"We need parties that have answers, not parties that don't even understand the question," Mr. Hipkins concluded.

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