For immediate release
6 July 2000
Fair Student Association Legislation Passes
The sorry saga of Government interference in student democracy is finally over with the passing of the Education
Amendment Bill today.
The Bill gives students the right to request a fair vote on whether membership of a students association at a tertiary
institution should be compulsory or voluntary.
Student leaders welcomed the passing of the Bill, calling it a big step forward from the draconian and clumsy Voluntary
Student Membership (VSM) Act, which was designed to exterminate the student organisations.
"It's certainly a refreshing change to have a Government that passes legislation which aims to strengthen student
voices," said David Penney, Aotearoa Post-compulsory Student Union (APSU) President.
"This is a responsible piece of legislation that respects the rights of students to decide the role their association,
and allows associations to effectively represent and support students," said Tanja Schutz, New Zealand University
Students Association (NZUSA) Co-President.
"The previous legislation was a farce because it made sure that the voting process was as biased as possible in favour
of voluntary membership. This legislation contains no bias either way." said Tanja Schutz.
"We now hope this legislation will bury the VSM bogey once and for all and allow us to get on with the job of
representing and advocating for the tertiary students of New Zealand," concluded David Penney.
For more comment contact:
David Penney Tanja Schutz
National President Co-President
04 498 2501 (work) 04 498 2500 (work)
025 756 526 (cell) 025 86 86 77 (cell)
04 971 1793 (home)