Government running scared
The cancellation by National's Associate Tertiary Spokesperson, Maurice Williamson, to speak in the Student Union Quad at the University of Auckland is a clear sign that the government is running scared, according to student leaders at the Auckland University Students' Association (AUSA).
Mr Williamson was scheduled to speak to students at 12 noon on Wednesday, in a series of addresses by political leaders leading up to the election.
"Obviously, the government has now also realised that its record in the tertiary sector is indefensible," commented Eva Neitzert, Co-Education Vice President at AUSA.
"The government's track record has been a comedy of errors. From Max Bradford shoving students, the foolish decision to delegate the administration of student allowances to WINZ, and the continual under-funding of the sector, everything the government has attempted to do has been a failure," said Samuel Huggard, Administration Vice President at AUSA.
The Minister has said that he does not wish to attend because given recent events (a student occupation) there is no guarantee of his personal security.
"I contend that" said Samuel Huggard. "The students association makes every effort to guarantee the safety of speakers. In recent weeks we have had the leaders of Labour, ACT, The Alliance and New Zealand First, as well as other National Party candidates. Maurice Williamson not fronting up to students further proves the governments mishandling of the portfolio and the absence of any commitment to it," continued Mr Huggard.
"On November 27, students will have the opportunity to respond to this lack of commitment with their vote," concluded Mr Huggard.