National rules out enduring solution - extreme Bill poses major risks
Students, student representatives, members of the public and tertiary institutions around the country will tonight be
appalled that National and ACT have closed off any opportunity to consider an enduring solution and fairer alternative
to ACT’s extreme student membership Bill, as Committee Stage debate ended tonight with no changes to the Bill.
"National has rarely spoken in the debate over this Bill. They have not fully fronted up and explained why they support
it, and particularly why they are going against the overwhelming evidence and submissions received that showed just how
destructive this Bill would be in practice," says NZUSA Co-President Max Hardy.
"This kind of issue does go beyond pure ideology – National need to be taken to task for not considering what is
practical, pragmatic, and what works well. This Bill is none of those things," says NZUSA Co-President David Do.
"Students and their representatives have continually sought to engage with National and work together on an enduring
solution that satisfies most parties in this debate, however the Government has chosen to ignore this. National has also
refused to consider extending the implementation date of the Bill to at least allow for an orderly transition. National
MPs have also refused invitations by the Auckland University Students’ Association to visit to see how a campus could
work in practice under ACT's proposed system. At Auckland University, their association works in spite of voluntary
membership, not because of it," says Hardy.
"Many students will be wondering why National continues to prioritise what ACT wants, and not what students want, and
questioning what sort of deal has been made here. Going against advice, evidence and the weight of public opinion, one
has to ask - has National sold students down the river to save a failing fringe political party from disintegration?"
NZUSA is the national representative body for tertiary students and has been advocating on student issues since 1929.
We stand for opportunity, for all.
NZUSA is the New Zealand Union of Students' Associations, the national body that represents New Zealand's students'
associations and the interests of New Zealand's 400,000 students at universities, polytechnics and in trades training.
We conduct original research, advocate to Government and through the media, and support New Zealand's students'
associations to be more effective on behalf of their members. We advocate alongside Te Mana Akonga – The National Māori
Students' Association, and Tertiary Women New Zealand – The NZUSA Women's Caucus.
Since 1929, we've believed in a society rich in opportunity, where anyone from anywhere can become any thing. We
support accessible, affordable quality public tertiary education.