NZUSA And ATSA Don't Represent All Students - Ignore Them
Statements from the New Zealand University Students' Association (NZUSA) and the Aotearoa Tertiray Students' Association
(ATSA) about TEAC can be ignored, as both student groups are based on compulsory membership and therefore do not speak
for the people they claim to represent, Student Choice spokesman Clint Heine said today.
Mr Heine said recent comments by NZUSA and ATSA about TEAC simply do not reflect the views of all tertiary students.
"Some students support TEAC, some don't and some don't care or know about the issue. It's totally illegitimate for NZUSA
and ATSA to say all 200,000 tertiary students oppose TEAC's recommendations. It's time the media questioned the
legitimacy of NZUSA and ATSA," Mr Heine said.
"Individual students are not members of NZUSA and ATSA; instead most students are forced by compulsory membership to
join regional associations which then affiliate to the national organisations. Forcing someone to join a political group
does not mean their views are represented," Mr Heine said. "This simple political fact is ignored by student politicians
and the Labour-Alliance government that supports compulsory membership," he said.
"The NZUSA and ATSA presidents are not elected by a system of one student, one vote. NZUSA and ATSA policy is not agreed
to by all students but is created by a dwindling number of activists and fulltime student politicians. The low turnouts
in regional student association elections this year are further evidence that NZUSA and ATSA are unrepresentative and
illegitimate," Mr Heine said.
"Unfortunately the media have little understanding of the structure of NZUSA and ATSA," Mr Heine said. "Even though
individual students have to pay the costs of the organisations, they are not individual members of NZUSA or ATSA. The
only members are the presidents of the constituent student associations, most of which are based on compulsory
membership," Mr Heine said.
Most students have no idea about what NZUSA and ATSA are saying on their behalf. Most students could not name the NZUSA
or ATSA presidents and the organisations only consult with the tiny number of activists who attend conferences. In fact
many students would have never even heard of NZUSA or ATSA Mr Heine said.
For more information contact:
Clint Heine Spokesman Student Choice NZ 021 122 8544 firstname.lastname@example.org