Student Choice Northland
"Now that students at Auckland University and the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic have voted for voluntary membership of their
student associations, they should expect Steve Maharey to tell them they’ve made a mistake," Madeleine Flannagan,
Regional Spokesperson for Student Choice said today.
"Last month Mr Maharey vehemently criticised voluntary membership and called it "the politics of destruction" and "an
error". "Students in Auckland and Tauranga should now expect to slapped on the wrist by a paternalistic minister who
thinks he knows what's in their best interests." "Maharey has painted himself into a corner over voluntary membership.
By condemning voluntary membership he has shut the door on any associations that have this form of membership. Maharey's
message is clear - unless you agree with my ideology, I don't want to know you."
Mrs Flannagan also thought it ironic that Maharey had ministerial responsibility for government relations with the
voluntary sector. "If Maharey thinks voluntary membership is so terrible, how can he maintain credibility with the
thousands of voluntary organisations in New Zealand?"
"If Maharey thinks voluntary membership is a certifiable bad thing, he should talk to Helen Clark. In June Clark wrote
to thousands of businesses saying that the Employment Relations Bill would ensure union membership remained voluntary.
Labour think voluntary membership is fine for workers but bad for students. A blatently hypocritical position that
discriminates against students sending a message that students are too stupid to make their own decisions and need to be
told what to do.”
"Labour's support for compulsory membership has nothing to do with so-called representation of all students. It's
apparently about taking money from all students and giving it groups that provide political support to the Labour and
Alliance parties." Mrs Flannagan concluded.
Madeleine Flannagan is the Regional Representative for Student Choice a voluntary student union membership lobby group,
she can be contacted on (09) 836 7884.