23 September 2009
Attention: Education and Political reporters
For Immediate Release
Douglas’ bill bad for students
The Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Association (VUWSA) is disappointed with the Prime Minister and the
Minister of Education for their initial support of Roger Douglas’ Education (Freedom of Association) Amendment Bill,
which is to come up for its first reading today.
“The VUWSA is opposed to any bill which seeks to take away control of essential services from students, particularly
during such hard economic times,” said VUWSA President, Jasmine Freemantle.
“The VUWSA is an incorporated society which provides vital services to Victoria students, such as independent advocacy
and support, academic and welfare services, and the coordination of a diverse range of sporting, cultural and social
events,” said Freemantle.
“These services are an integral part of campus and academic life and part of the wider educational experience of
university. This Bill will have a devastating impact on these services,” added Freemantle.
A student initiated referenda took place at Victoria University in 1999, and was overwhelmingly defeated. Voluntary
student membership has jeopardized the quality of student support and services in Australia recently, and supporting
such legislation in New Zealand would be a huge step backwards.