Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

Bradford Goes Silent On Med Student Protests

by Selwyn Manning

The Government has gone silent over student protests at universities around New Zealand. Today’s latest, in a week of revolt, is a medical student collective lambasting of a compounding student loan debt.

A spokesperson for Tertiary Education Minister, Max Bradford, told Scoop that he will not be making a statement on the protests or criticisms of the Government’s education policies “at this stage”.

The silence has outraged the student unions and associations. Protest action has built up around the country with thousands of members joining a collective outrage.

The pressure intensified on Mr Bradford after yesterday’s “fending/tackle” incident at Canterbury University.

Three MPs were in a car. Students surrounded the vehicle and lay on the ground to prevent its departure. At least one student started to let down the car’s tyres.

Mr Bradford’s office says this group was out of control. There was no student association representatives there to control them, nor from the university administration, nor from the police.

The MPs then left the car and walked through the grounds of the university. At one point a student stood on Mr Bradford’s foot, and shouted slogans at the top of his voice right in the Minister’s face. The Minister brushed the student aside and kept walking. Eventually the police arrived and the three MPs left the campus.

This appears to have driven Mr Bradford to ground on the matter.

Students at Auckland, Victoria, Canterbury and Otago universities, are divided over protest methods employed.

But political pressure is mounting.

Today, Auckland and Otago medical students have shown their outrage of National’s tertiary education policy. The students allege this amounts to a huge social cost to the country.

Karen Skinner Co-President of the New Zealand University Students' Association (NZUSA) says: “Action taken by Auckland and Otago medical students will again highlight the huge societal cost of increasing fees and growing student debt.

"National has created a time bomb, the full effects of which are yet to be felt.
Students may be accumulating debt now - but it is the public who will suffer the consequences in the long-run.

"The National government has been completely irresponsible with their failure to assess or monitor the effect, or potential impact on our society of the student loan scheme and skyrocketing debt.”

"Every student who graduates with a huge debt will be forced to make life decisions based on their financial situation. This means that they will be forced to pursue jobs based on the salary or will increase user-charges to the public.

"Those people unable to pay the inevitable increasing user-charges will be unable to access vital services. Today medical students are highlighting this issue in the health sector, but the problem extends to other areas for example legal advice or counseling.

"The government will eventually have to pay for this debt as well. For example teachers, nurses and other public servants will have to demand higher pay to cover their debt repayments.

"New Zealand needs a government who will take positive action in the tertiary sector before it is too late. We need National out" concluded Ms Skinner.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 


Julian Assange: A Thousand Days In Belmarsh
Julian Assange has now been in the maximum-security facilities of Belmarsh prison for over 1,000 days. On the occasion of his 1,000th day of imprisonment, campaigners, supporters and kindred spirits gathered to show their support, indignation and solidarity at this political detention most foul... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: The Mauling Of Novak Djokovic
Rarely can the treatment of a grand sporting figure by officialdom have caused such consternation. Novak Djokovic, the tennis World Number One, has always had a tendency to get under skin and constitution, creating a large following of admirers and detractors. But his current treatment by Australian authorities, and his subsequent detention as an unlawful arrival despite being granted a visa to participate in the Australian Open, had the hallmarks of oppression and incompetent vulgarity... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Voices Of Concern: Aussies For Assange’s Return

With Julian Assange now fighting the next stage of efforts to extradite him to the United States to face 18 charges, 17 of which are based on the brutal, archaic Espionage Act, some Australian politicians have found their voice. It might be said that a few have even found their conscience... More>>



Forbidden Parties: Boris Johnson’s Law On Illegal Covid Gatherings

It was meant to be time to reflect. The eager arms of a new pandemic were enfolding a society with asphyxiating, lethal effect. Public health authorities advocated various measures: social distancing, limited contact between family and friends, limited mobility. No grand booze-ups. No large parties. No bonking, except within dispensations of intimacy and various “bubble” arrangements. Certainly, no orgies... More>>

Dunne Speaks: Question Time Is Anything But
The focus placed on the first couple of Question Time exchanges between the new leader of the National Party and the Prime Minister will have seemed excessive to many but the most seasoned Parliamentary observers. Most people, especially those outside the Wellington beltway, imagine Question Time is exactly what it sounds... More>>



Gasbagging In Glasgow: COP26 And Phasing Down Coal

Words can provide sharp traps, fettering language and caging definitions. They can also speak to freedom of action and permissiveness. At COP26, that permissiveness was all the more present in the haggling ahead of what would become the Glasgow Climate Pact... More>>