1 December 2010 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE*
ALRANZ Calls On MPs To Defeat Anti-Student Union Bill
The Abortion Law Reform Association of New Zealand (ALRANZ) is calling on Members of Parliament (MPs) to vote against the* *Education (Freedom of Association) Amendment Bill.
ALRANZ affirms its continued support for the New Zealand Union of Student Associations (NZUSA), and considers that the legislation, which is almost at its final reading, will be detrimental to the integrity of student associations across the country. The loss of such strong student voices will have a negative impact on the reproductive justice movement generally and could impede ALRANZ’s collaborative efforts with University associations. “The tertiary sector is not only about academic learning but about fostering leaders for the future,” ALRANZ’s National Secretary Morgan Healey said today.
“What international evidence has shown, particularly in Australia, is that without organisational support these voices will be muted.”
“As an organisation, ALRANZ is committed to engaging with student associations and together raising awareness of the need for new abortion laws in New Zealand. What we have witnessed over the past several months, specifically in the emergence of the Victoria University group, Action for Abortion Rights, is the impact young leaders can have on reinvigorating a fading movement. This group was instrumental in organising and leading the recent rally held outside the Court of Appeal. Through this process, these women and men understood the power of their own voices, the impact their actions can have on effecting change and how democracies function. Are politicians willing to sacrifice these crucial civic moments to appease a minority party’s political ideology? We hope the answer to this question is no”, stated Healey.
Echoing the sentiments recently offered by the National Council of Women of New Zealand, of which ALRANZ is a member, it is imperative that the students and tertiary education organisations that have fought against this Bill be supported. ALRANZ calls on the Government and all MPs to give careful consideration to the contributions these associations make, not only to tertiary life but also to their wider communities. The organisation considers student activism to be a vital aspect of any democratic society. To take away the means of sustaining these associations can only serve to silence nascent political voices.