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Student Associations Call for National Reform

Student Associations Call for National Reform

Today, the Presidents of the Auckland University Students’ Association (AUSA), Otago University Students’ Association (OUSA) and Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Association (VUWSA) said that they would propose a series of reforms for discussion at the NZUSA Congress at 8 November.

These reforms will include:

- A more inclusive governance structure that involves all student associations.

- An increased focus on core NZUSA business such as: education quality, student support, loans, allowances and the impact of Voluntary Student Membership.

- A credible role in organizing relevant, national campaigns on issues that matter to students.

Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Association President, Rory McCourt, said he empathized with many of the concerns of the students and their representatives that NZUSA had fallen into a period of inactivity. Mr. McCourt said, “These reforms offer hope for the return of an effective national student voice.”

Auckland University of Students’ Association President Daniel Haines said, “I welcome the need for internal review so that we always perform to best practice, do what members want and have a clear direction going forward that suits the need of students and the membership”

Otago University Students’ Association President Francisco said, “Now is not the time to abandon our national student voice, especially when many students are hurting due to government cuts in student support, increases in the cost of living and suffering in cold damp flats.”

The Presidents called the recent moves by the Waikato Students Union (WSU) President to notify withdrawal of the national body, without consulting Waikato students, a “rash and hasty decision.” The three called for careful consideration of the issues facing NZUSA, but appreciated that WSU had generated a discussion for improving the organisation.

All three student associations will be engaging their membership, and other students’ associations to establish a positive way forward for a strong national student voice in New Zealand.


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