National rules out enduring solution - extreme Bill poses major risks
Students, student representatives, members of the public and tertiary institutions around the country will tonight be appalled that National and ACT have closed off any opportunity to consider an enduring solution and fairer alternative to ACT’s extreme student membership Bill, as Committee Stage debate ended tonight with no changes to the Bill.
"National has rarely spoken in the debate over this Bill. They have not fully fronted up and explained why they support it, and particularly why they are going against the overwhelming evidence and submissions received that showed just how destructive this Bill would be in practice," says NZUSA Co-President Max Hardy.
"This kind of issue does go beyond pure ideology – National need to be taken to task for not considering what is practical, pragmatic, and what works well. This Bill is none of those things," says NZUSA Co-President David Do.
"Students and their representatives have continually sought to engage with National and work together on an enduring solution that satisfies most parties in this debate, however the Government has chosen to ignore this. National has also refused to consider extending the implementation date of the Bill to at least allow for an orderly transition. National MPs have also refused invitations by the Auckland University Students’ Association to visit to see how a campus could work in practice under ACT's proposed system. At Auckland University, their association works in spite of voluntary membership, not because of it," says Hardy.
"Many students will be wondering why National continues to prioritise what ACT wants, and not what students want, and questioning what sort of deal has been made here. Going against advice, evidence and the weight of public opinion, one has to ask - has National sold students down the river to save a failing fringe political party from disintegration?" concluded Do.
NZUSA is the national representative body for tertiary students and has been advocating on student issues since 1929.