Student loan penalties

Written By: - Date published: 7:09 am, August 12th, 2010 - 75 comments
Categories: education - Tags: , ,

Education should be free. I think student loans are among the stupidest things that NZ governments (from both sides of the political fence) have ever done. It should be possible for the average young Kiwi to gain a tertiary education without having to shoulder a crushing burden of debt. It is intergenerational theft.

One of the worst effects of student loans is to drive young graduates overseas. We spend tens of thousands of tax payer’s dollars on their excellent education, and then build in a huge financial incentive for them to leave this country and never come back. What could possibly be stupider?

The last Labour government at least made a start on addressing this problem with interest free loans. (They should have done so much more than that!) National will be letting fees rise and making the situation worse. But at least it appears that they are going to do one small thing right, and it’s grand to be able to congratulate them (for a change) on this announcement yesterday:

The Government is to reduce late repayment penalties for student loan “refugees” staying overseas because of their student debt, Revenue Minister Peter Dunne says.

Speaking at Auckland University of Technology yesterday Mr Dunne said the student loan scheme “could burden New Zealand graduates on OE (overseas experience) with such enormous penalties they were effectively barred from ever returning to New Zealand”.

“A measure soon to be introduced will reduce the penalties to address this issue.”

That article doesn’t have any specific numbers other than the total cost of unpaid penalties, $56.6 million. But let’s hope that the reductions are significant. Better still, write the penalties off all together. Let them come home.

75 comments on “Student loan penalties ”

  1. Jenny 1

    R0B I agree with your first statement:

    Education should be free.

    As is well known the treacherous individuals who brought this policy in, all had had the benefit of free tertiary education.

    • Jenny 1.1

      Fully government funded public tertiary education is possible. Its return in New Zealand is only a matter of political will. A number of countries around the world continue a long tradition of free public tertiary education system, while others are very close to having a fully funded system. Free higher educaton in Finland is a constitutionally protected right. New Zealand’s fees, however, are unusually high and are an absolute social injustice…….

      The above quote is from the NZUSA, The New Zealand University Students Association.
      The NZUSA goes on to explain in their, ‘ A short history of fees in New Zealand’ essay, that:

      Until 1989, fees for domestic students in New Zealand were very low. In 1989, the fee for full-time study at a New Zealand uiversity was less than $300. However, for most students, 90% of that cost was met by the government through a fees grant, which was paid through the student support system.
      Labour introduced the flat $1250 standard tertiary fee for full-time and full year students in 1990. Phil Goff, currently a Labour Cabinet Minister and the then Associate Minister of Education, responsible for tertiary education, was responsible for introducing tertiary fees.

      In an interesting footnote; As Professor Terry Crooks head of Educational Monitoring at Otago University, points out – Finland as well as constitutionally banning tertiary fees is also an international powerhouse in primary education, achieving great success, by fully supporting teachers and eschewing standardised testing. A shining example in primary education that the National Government blinded by ideology, has chosen to ignore.

      Professor Crooks on Finnish primary education:

      “There is no individualised accounting, and there is also, no school accountability measures. They put the investment in quality teaching and quality teaching education. And then they trust teachers to do the best job’.

      Finland, has a similar sized population as New Zealand, so there is no reason why we can’t follow their positive examples of how to do it right, in both primary and tertiary education.

      The only thing stopping us, is the ideological blindness and lack of political will from, as R0B puts it, “both sides of the political fence”.

      capcha – value

  2. Carol 2

    IMO, a lot of the problem is that governments and economists tend to treat education, especially tertiary education as only being of benefit to the individuals being educated, and a financial burden on the state in paying for it. And, as with so many other things, they take a short term view on the costs in financing this education.

    Has anyone done any figures to work out the financial/economic benefits to society or the country in having a educated and skilled citizens? And taking into account the long term benefits? Because, as many here probaby know, this education and training is an investment for the country and not a consumer service/choice.

  3. KJT 3

    Tertiary education was not free. it was paid for by taxes on tradespeople, labourers and others who paid for their tertiary education themselves or did not have any.
    It was only open to the children of the rich. Student loans allow many more people to go to University.
    Normally I do not agree with user pays for public goods, but this is partly a private good and partly public. If anyone benefits apart from the student it is the companies who employ them.
    It is an indictment on the meanness that has been instilled in people by neo-libs that students do not feel they have to give something back.
    Our best go overseas not because of student loans, but because we are a low wage high cost country after decades of inflation in everything except wages.
    There is no one left in my profession except trainees, immigrants who are trying to get into Australia or who like the NZ lifestyle and social benefits and over 50’s. They left because they are paid twice as much even in third world countries than they are here.
    They left because our society is being destroyed by stupid politicians with stupid experiments.
    They left because we pay bean counters 100’s of thousands (those whose only skills are juggling money, cost cutting and asset stripping) while reducing the wages of skilled technicians, engineers, doctors, teachers, tradespeople, the ones who do the work.
    The ones who did not have student loans have left.
    The ones who do have student loans left also.

    • r0b 3.1

      It was only open to the children of the rich

      Haven’t time to chat on your other points right now, but I’ll tell you from personal experience that that one there is wrong.

      • burt 3.1.1

        Wrong in theory or wrong from a practical point of view?

        Sure anyone could go, how many low income families could afford to support their children through tertiary education before student loans. Do you have access to the tertiary participation rates before the introduction of student loans ?

        It’s interesting that you support the concept of affirmative action in Uni and claim that there was no fiscal barrier before student loans….

        • Lats

          Speaking from personal experience, in my day I got student jobs during the holidays in order to help cover the costs. Certainly my parents chipped in some, but I met the majority of the costs myself. Mind you, back then the course fees charged to students were only a few hundred dollars, I guess they were heavily subsidised by govt, fees now are outrageously high. Accomodation and beer money were my biggest expenses, thats what the holiday jobs were for. 🙂

        • chris

          To be honest there needs to be a balance because yeah, burt et al are right. My dad wanted to do medicine and had the grades to get into Otago, but didn’t go in the end and instead went into a cadetship at NZ post, because he was going to get paid and because his parents were working class and couldn’t afford to send him to University. He now holds a masters degree, but again, that was probably only available to him because of student loans as well.

          One also need only look at france/germany where education is supposedly free, but only for the best of the best from school. They segregate their classes at a very early age and if you’re not performing at a young age then you don’t even get the chance at getting a good high school education. Perhaps this system has merits, but I believe the solution in NZ is not to follow the European route. I think something that is our own – like reducing your loan each year based on your grade average over B+.

          Education is a social positive, but making it free creates unlimited demand which merely creates incredibly selective universities. That is a good thing in some ways, but not all. I think the system needs to reward good performance at university – but in Joyce’s backwards-ass requiring a job way.

        • In The KNow

          When we had ‘free’ Tertiary education, before Student Loans, it was easy to get a part time job to cover our living expenses. I had absolutely no help, financially, from my parents and not only happily studied full time, worked part time, lived independently in a flat, ran a car AND saved money! The only costs I had to stump up with the study was the Student Association fee of (if I remember correctly) $151 and, of course, my books etc.

          There were very few students back then who could not easily support themselves with a part time job (which were plentiful) without financial help from parents. Tertiary study back then was afforable and accessible and not as stressful as it appears to be today.

          That is not the case today due to study and living costs being so expensive and I worry for my children who are studying and living under the shadow of Student Loans and their personal living costs which, even though I am not working right now, help them with by giving them basics such as toilet paper, washing powder and cheese (not in their food budget cos it is too expensive).

          • Bill

            “..basics such as toilet paper, washing powder and cheese (not in their food budget cos it is too expensive).”

            Your kids eat washing powder and toilet paper? My god! Did your university education teach you nothing? The toilet paper is meant only for the utilisation of the cardboard holder to make impromptu pipes and the washing powder is for the tooting. What university you go to again? No wonder it was free.

      • Armchair Critic 3.1.2

        Too right, r0b, I got into university with my parents’ combined income being less than half the average wage. Before student loans were invented.
        Believe it or not, I got in based on my grades at high school.

      • Macro 3.1.3

        Totally agree rOb my dad was a factory worker – never made it past Primary education in the UK. But then there was more equality in NZ in those days – something that younger generations find it hard to get their heads around.

      • Puddleglum 3.1.4

        A similar experience.

        My dad was an assembly worker, 12 hour shifts, five and a half day weeks. Mum worked as a machinist in a shirt factory. I got into university in the late 70s with a bursary, full waiver of fees plus about $500 for the year.

        My parents supported me. In other words, I stayed at home and ate bangers and mash, homemade chips and peas, etc.. I had holiday jobs but what I paid in board wouldn’t have covered the costs of housing and feeding me.

        If I remember rightly, at the time I was one of about 3% of university students whose father was unskilled. The reasons for lack of participation of working class youth was not the lack of student loans so much as the lack of that middle class valuing of education – aspiration, if you like. But the next question needs to be asked: Why was that?

        So far as I can guess, three things at least.

        First, there were plenty of pretty well paid jobs around. In 1973, when I started high school there was, for a brief time, no-one unemployed in Christchurch, if my memory is correct. When there are relatively well paid jobs for 15 year olds and when the society is not too inequitable it’s not obvious to a working class family why they should encourage their child to go to university and enter a completely different world and cultural situation. Remember, when you’re from the working class, the middle class and its ways, its ‘professions’ and its concerns is a foreign country.

        My mum was like that. She would have had us all out to work at 15, bringing in an income if she’d had her way. She didn’t. Dad had always valued education as the means of improving his children’s prospects. He didn’t want us to end up in the conditions and with the powerlessness that he experienced when he was a child in the north of England in the depression. (There’s an interesting back story, too, about how dad gained that middle class valuing of education – another time maybe).

        Second, generations – and, in some cases, centuries – of inculcation of that strange mix of working class passivity and ‘knowing your place’ meant (and probably still means) that most working class parents would have, quite rightly, seen having educated children as basically making their offspring strangers to them, with strange values. It just wouldn’t have seemed ‘natural’ to encourage your own child to go to university. It’s not unlike the way that schools and education have undermined cultures in colonised countries. Schools turn out quite different people from those the culture turns out. Why hand over your children to foreigners?

        Third, powerful institutions both create and coalesce around these historical processes of cultural inculcation. Schooling, in particular, structurally reflected it with some high schools not having seventh forms and so reflecting back at its pupils the reality of the lack of expectation. Some high schools were just known as ones where no-one moved on to university. Other schools, by contrast, were ones that were the feeders for university.

        My father rocked up to one of these schools on a rainy winters day in his mac, on his bike, during his lunch break, to ask for an application form for my brother. What guts. The secretary, when she heard his request and saw him, said, “You do know that we have very high academic standards at this school?” It was only when dad mentioned the intermediate school and then the particular class and teacher that my brother was in that she handed over the application form. My brother got in on merit. I got in a few years later because I was his brother – that kind of a school.

        I don’t think student loans have anything to do with helping the working class into tertiary education. Free education wasn’t the problem then (so far as working class participation goes) and it wouldn’t be now. What makes anyone think that working class people like the idea of being in debt from their first day of work? Let’s have free tertiary education for anyone who wants it and can do it and let’s pay the taxes to make it happen. If our society is that complicated that people need to spend fifteen years, minimum, in education to get decent work and remuneration then we have to pay the price for that complication. There’s no such thing as a free lunch.

        • felix

          I’m enjoying your writing here, Puddlegum. Hope you do share that story about your Dad sometime too.

          • Carol

            Thanks, Puddleglum, for confirming my thoughts that uni education was a very middleclass affair in the 70s, and for telling it in such a human and clear way.

            I always thought about 1-3% of the population went to Uni to do a degree. So it was a very elitist enterprise. It still tends to be that way, even though the proportion of the population attending has increased. I just looked at the Word doc. “Tertiary Education of New Zealand; a census analysis”


            It shows a shift (a drop) from 1981-2006 from 50% with no qualification (including no school qualification) to just over 26% with no qualification in 2006.
            The “Bachelors degree or higher” hasn’t grown that much as a proportion of the population: from around 3% in 1981 to around 12 or 13% in 2006 – but it has increased about 400%.

            And “Non-degree Tertiary Qualification” has also grown: around 12% in 1981 to approximately 20% in 2006.

            So overall proportion of the population with tertiary qualifications have gone from 15% in 1981 to 33% in 2006.

            This shows a couple of things:
            Uni education is still a pretty elitist endeavour (and probably still favours those at higher socio-economic levels).
            It shows why funding has become an issue because of the big increase in attendance at tertiary education.

            But, I agree with Puddleglum:

            Let’s have free tertiary education for anyone who wants it and can do it and let’s pay the taxes to make it happen. If our society is that complicated that people need to spend fifteen years, minimum, in education to get decent work and remuneration then we have to pay the price for that complication. There’s no such thing as a free lunch.

            Stats on the above page, and here:

            also show the big increase in women going to tertiary education.

          • Puddleglum

            Thanks Felix – appreciated and very much reciprocated.

            So far as Dad’s story goes, if I didn’t know it was true, I’d think it was written by Dickens – characterisations like caricatures, almost too-contrived plots, social commentary in every detail and lashings of sentimentality. But in a strange sort of way, I see it as expressive of something at the centre of this thread.

            It all started in the 1910s with “she was only a banker’s daughter” but she strayed into a chorus line, got disowned and landed up in a working class area of a small northern town with only a handful of working class males willing to keep her company … but, as they say, you can take the girl out of the middle class but you can’t take the middle class out of the girl.

            Enter stage (emphatically) LEFT, the youngest, favourite son (probably from the favourite father) – ‘cock of the school’ by day (which has something to do with steel capped boots, concrete schoolyards and ‘first to draw blood’ rules), poring over books and political tracts by night and by candlelight (no gas or electric lighting).

            His middle class Mum was determined that he should learn from books. He ate them – slowly. (Today he’d be called a dyslexic I suppose though I remember him working his way through ‘The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich’ – dwelling on the politics, not the battles – and the Memoirs of Khruschev (sp?). No small feats, if you’ve ever seen them on a bookshelf.)

            The boy leaves the Communist Party at age 13 after hearing Harry Pollock in Manchester just before the impending war, calling for sabotage of armaments factories – a war that dad knew men in his derelict, infamous street, would soon be fighting, with blanks if Pollock had his way (at least, that’s what he took from it).

            As he leaves the hall he sings ‘Rule Britannia’, or some such, and takes half the young communists from his branch with him.

            He leaves school at 14 but he never abandons socialism which he sees as the straightforward expression of the virtues – as opposed to the many vices – of his working class world: Loyalty, responsibility to and respect for yourself and others, honesty, fairness, sharing, helping, working hard, putting family and children first, being as good as your word, sticking together, pulling your weight.

            If revolution wasn’t going to happen (in Dad’s time it came close more than once), then education would have to be the next great hope.

            Decades passed. We migrated to Oz, then on to NZ mainly so we (the kids) could get the best opportunities for education. It was his middle class mother echoing down the years, I think. He could probably have had a life in local politics in England – it was looking promising. Coming to NZ (for us) meant he had a life in factories instead.

            Dad died eight years ago from mesothelioma, an industrial disease – fitting I guess, even symbolic, but bloody awful. I asked him, a few weeks before he died, whether he was angry at the companies that had exposed him to asbestos. He said, “No – nobody knew then.”

            I didn’t tell him that I’d read about asbestos companies being aware of the health hazards of asbestos and that they’d suppressed that knowledge. That was in the 1930s, the decade after he was born.

            That’s the problem with getting educated – you learn too much.

    • burt 3.2

      Hopefully this little bit of reality will be an ahhh-ha moment for rOb.

    • just saying 3.3

      I was going to write something on some of the points you make, particularly about the (already hugely subsidised) public costs of educating those whose qualifications will all but guarantee incomes many times the national average. From the working class point of view, almost a license to print money, especially when taken overseas.

      I’m an exception too Rob, and there are many exceptions. As a proprtion of university students, especially in the high earner courses though, there are bugger all. University is an overwhelming middle class (and up) pursuit.

      In a more ideal world free education should definitely be free. In this one, in many cases, it has the potential to increase inequality

      • Draco T Bastard 3.3.1

        It’s the irrational “free-market” that increases inequality – not increased education.

    • Lats 3.4

      I don’t agree with everything you say here KJT, but I do agree that we as a society set strange values on certain professions. Successive governments have waxed lyrical about our wonderful knowledge economy, but the marketplace doesn’t always reflect the rose-tinted view of the politicians. I graduated with a science degree and a post-grad qualification. I spent nearly 20 years working in the microbiology field, and in that entire time I never once earned the average wage, let alone many times more than that as others here claim. To contrast this, a school mate of mine went straight from 7th form to work in a bank, worked his way up through the ranks, and is now in senior management at one of the big banks in Aussie, earning about $200k. To be fair he has a much more responsible position than I ever had (in terms of staff under him and financial responsibility) and I don’t begrudge him the income. On the contrary, I wholly applaud his good fortune. However it is a little disappointing that I wasted those 4 years getting my qualifications when I could have been whoring myself to some big corporate and raking in the dough. I’ve recently retrained (and now have a student loan) in IT, and my first entry level job is already getting me more than I have ever earned before, and this after a 1 year certificate course.

      I guess the take home message here is that while some benefit greatly from a university education, not all fields of study guarantee a massive income after graduating.

      • just saying 3.4.1


        I didn’t claim that microbiology pays “many times the average wage”.

        I agree with the principle of free tertiary education. But there are some instances where the community pays a huge price for particular ‘elite’ university trade training such as medicine and dentistry, where, too often, the beneficiaries, give little or nothing back to their communities, and are not obliged to. And they have a sense of grievance at small proportion of fees they need to get a loan to fund themselves. In effect, it’s a kind of upper-middle class welfare with the qualifications that bring big incomes.

        The currently in-vogue beneficiary-bashing is never directed at the rich and privileged benes.

        • Lats

          I’m glad you didn’t claim that, because it would have been fundamentally untrue 🙂 But you did say:

          I was going to write something on some of the points you make, particularly about the (already hugely subsidised) public costs of educating those whose qualifications will all but guarantee incomes many times the national average.

          I was simply pointing out that a university education doesn’t necessarily guarantee an income many times the national average. Certainly those with a tertiary education will, on average, receive higher incomes, but you made a generalisation that I simply had to challenge 😉 I understand now that you were targetting medicine, dentistry, etc., but I’m not sure it is fair to say they give nothing back to their communities. Sure, if they disappear off overseas and avoid paying their student loans, you are quite correct. But a lot will stay in NZ and join practices, and contribute their expertise while paying off their loans.

          I do tend to favour the view that the country as a whole benefits from a greater number of graduates, and I would love for us to return to the model of funding I personally enjoyed in the 80’s. I’m not convinced, though, that it is affordable any longer. If we started fully funding tertiary education again the money has to come from somewhere, and another area of funding would end up suffering. Unless of course we consider raising taxes to cover the cost.

          • just saying

            Apologies Lats.

            Rereading that original post, I really wasn’t clear.

            Will make a big effort to be clear and specific in the future!

            I was talking about a minority of tertiary students who are able to earn big bucks on the back of upper-middle class welfare, and apologise to the many, many, current and former tertiary students, that I inadvertantly insulted through the sloppy way I expressed myself.

            • Lats

              No need to apologise. I wasn’t insulted at all 🙂

              And NickS is quite right, a science career in this country (unless you have a PhD) is very much a labour of love. I did my degree because I found it interesting and (don’t hate me for this) quite easy. If I had been focussed on future earning potential I would have sold my soul and pursued a different field like some of my friends.

              • lprent

                Don’t worry. Just having a science degree has helped a hell of a lot in my subsequent careers – none of which have anything to directly to do with science. Just today I was using a pile of my 2nd year maths to figure out how to recode a algorithmic nightmare in a more efficient manner. In my last job I was using a hell of a lot of physics, material science, and for that matter the queuing theory from my MBA – all for building code.

                Personally, I found that each degree after I did it, proved to be the thing that moved me on to a completely different career than the one I studied. Which is why I never completed a compsci degree. The 3rd year papers convinced me that I’d learn more from books and contracts.

                BTW: Vocational degrees are really for the dweebs as far as I’m concerned..

              • NickS

                Heh, I sort of find everything easy, (excepting maths, but that’s what math101 is for…), it’s just that I’m crap at studying enough and the last few years have been borked due to depression. /sigh

                If I didn’t find evolution, ecology and molecular bio so interesting though, I’d probably have gone for organic chemistry, or geology.

      • NickS 3.4.2

        Yeah, unfortunately science is more of a labour of love (and low-level poverty), than a well paying career unless your degree is “industry focused”, and the under funding of R&D in NZ doesn’t help either. Since a simple BSc wont get you much if anything at all 🙁

        • lprent

          PhD minimum is what I see. Anything less and you’re lucky to get a job as a lab-rat bottle washer.

          • NickS

            Yeah, most of the jobs that are opened with a BSc are basically scut-work, though the pay is generally above minimum wage. It’s just that you end up competing with the MSc, Post.Grad.Dip.Sci and BSc.Hon students. All of whom generally have more lab and field experience.

            • Lats

              Yep, Dip.Sci, that’s me, I got bored half-way through my masters and decided I’d rather be working for money. And the first lab job I applied for was as a “lab-rat bottle washer” (nice turn of phrase there). Luckily the same lab was also about to advertise for a bench technician, so I ended up getting that job instead. Stayed there 9 years & made some excellent friends. Was testing dairy products, and to this day still can’t eat custard.

  4. Shona 4

    Bollocks KJT !My family wasn’t rich. All but one of us had a tertiary education.No student allowance in the 1970’s but no loan either. All trade training was govt. subsidised until Rogernomics fucked us over.

    • burt 4.1

      Define ‘wasn’t rich’. Apparently $70,000/annum is rich when talking about tax but poor when talking about welfare entitlements. All very confusing when an ideology defines rich rather than actual financial status.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1

        The ideology you’re talking about is neo-liberalism and the “flat tax” that Rogernomics tried to bring in and which has been shown to be a complete failure.

    • Carol 4.2

      In some ways uni was easier in the 70s than it is now, but it wasn’t all that rosy. I think it was possible for people from less well-off backgrounds to go to uni. But I’m pretty certain that the majority of students were from middle and upperclass backgrounds. And the majority were male.

      I began my first degree in the early 70s. I would have been dependent on my parents if I had done fulltime Uni, not so much for fees, but for cost of living. I went to Teachers’ College instead, which got a state grant and started uni parttime at the same time. I continued uni part-time while working, partly funded by my employer, the Education Dept. (or whatever it was called at the time). I finished this degree with a fulltime year in 1976. I got a student allowance that year, which didn’t quite cover my rent. The rest of my bills were paid from the money I’d saved while working.

      There may not have been fees of any consequence. There was some student allowance. Some people had scholarships. But most students had to work parttime and/or in the holidays to support themselves. The freezing works was a major employer of male students in their summer holidays.

      It’s important to remember that there are some significant changes since the 70s. Tertiary education has expanded vastly. A much higher proportion of young people need some tertiary qualification/s in order to get a job. And a noticeble difference walking around Auckland Uni campus now is that far more women go to Uni thank in the 70s.

      • lprent 4.2.1

        I first did uni in the late 70’s. The student allowance was almost enough to cover my rent in Hamilton, but not enough for food and texts. I worked at the Hillcrest as a barman for 4 nights a week and did a lot of territorials during the weekends when I wasn’t off on field trips (there were a lot of those in earth sciences). Short holidays I’d carry on doing barwork or army. Over the xmas break I’d work fulltime (year 1 = auckland factory nightshift, year 2 = hamilton barwork, and year 3 = pipeworks in Marton).

        I got a management scholarship for Ceramco in my final year (after I’d decided against science as a career). The money for books made life a lot easier.

        But it wasn’t all that easy, and I couldn’t just keep accumulating a loan (which would have been a lot easier whilst at uni)…. On the other hand I got out of uni owing just a grand to my parents

        • purplescottie

          My university experience was the early 70s. We got a student allowance that covered food and rent. A bursary, if we passed the exam, gave us a bit of extra pocket money to cover books. Christmas holiday jobs were plentiful, and more than covered the fees. My fees were around $190 total for the year. In my experience, everyone who had University Entrance could afford to go. Didn’t matter what your parents earned.
          And my cohort introduced higher fees and student loans!

          • Rosy

            In the 70s when I left school at 15, I didn’t even know what a university was. Never heard of it. It might not matter what parents earned, but the circles they moved in, their priorities mattered an awful lot, just as they do today. Since then I’ve managed to fit in a degree here and there in-between working and raising children. My father’s comment after my Masters was that I was too qualified to get a job!

            In the workforce there was some discrimination – if you admit to getting in university without prerequisites there was an expectation of failure (sometimes noted when people were surprised at the quality of work done) or the degree was seen as a hobby even if it was done full-time, and in time.

  5. KJT 5

    My trade training was paid for by my employer and myself in the mid 70’s.
    It was quite hard to get into trade training. 3 out of 100 applicants for mine.
    As regards inter generational theft my tax was half my income and mortgage repayments took all of my wife’s income. This was to pay for Muldoons election bribes to the then superannuates and social welfare for farmers as well as free education for the children of the rich so they could infest the ski fields. We kept trying to vote him out, but the electoral boundaries were gerrymandered to favour National.
    National have a long history of stuffing up, only exceeded by the 84 Labour Government.
    All my siblings went to university, but it was a big financial struggle for them. They would have liked the opportunity to add some student loan money rather than working every spare hour.
    You can now get student loans and allowances for trade training also which would be an improvement except that employers have taken the opportunity to get out of paying training altogether.

    • loota 5.1

      except that employers have taken the opportunity to get out of paying training altogether.

      Indeed, and look how well that strategy is serving them in terms of being able to recruit and retain skilled staff versus having them take off to Oz. Classic NZ short-termism.

      • KJT 5.1.1

        Of course.

      • Jenny 5.1.2

        Loota, the idiocy of allowing employers to dodge training up new trades people, is about to get worse with the 90 day bill.

        One of the glowing commendations for the 90 day law, that was supplied by the EMA, in defence of this law, was from an employer, who bragged that rather than having to train a new start for his factory he could hire and fire people at will until he found one with all the skills needed for the job already in place.

        Talk about an anti-education government.

        I suppose it is all about hollowing out the real economy so that New Zealand can become the finance hub of the world. Can I have the Irony detecter please.

        Indulging in this sort of parasitism meant this employer got a competitive advantage over his business rivals by avoiding the costs of training someone in the job. Obviously, what all this will mean, is that eventually, no new starts can expect to be shown how to do the job properly.

        I suppose a young working person hoping to improve their position, could seek to do extra training at night school on their own time and at their own expense.

        Apart from that employers could hire workers trained overseas.

    • Rosy 5.2

      In the 70s tertiary education may have been universtiy only but as Shona says, since the ‘reforms’ industry stopped paying for trade training and student loans became the only way for many to get the training they needed for jobs. In my family alone we have student loans for IT, design, hospitality and house-painting forgoodnessake! It’s not just university students who are paying off loans! And how do you think a house-painter was going to pay off an interest-bearing loan? Until Labour cancelled interest (yes, I know it was an election bribe) for some of these people the loans just kept accruing – earning enough to have to make payments but never enough to stop the debt rising.

  6. shona 6

    Block courses for trades transport to them and accomodation were all govt. subsidised.So was work gear. Employers made a substantial contribution some of which was able to be claimed back on taxes. And they got cheap labour.Tertiary education or nursing was often the only option for women. Skilled office administration was highly competitive and preferred mature workers. The opportunity for study was a chance for a positive direction in life. User pays was a marketing tool to cover up the neolibs massive underfunding of education. We are now reaping the result of that greed. The student loan scheme was always unsustainable.

    • Carol 6.1

      User pays was a marketing tool to cover up the neolibs massive underfunding of education. We are now reaping the result of that greed. The student loan scheme was always unsustainable.

      I agree with this. But it is also important to remember that this happened at a time when tertiary education was expanding, and thus required more funding than previously. However, rather than acknowledge that this expansion in education was/is an investment for the future, the neolibs just threw up their hands in horror at the increased costs and reached for the “user pays” mantra.

      • burt 6.1.1

        Or it was because the Labour govt left the economy in ruins in 1990 and National had two choices – send the uni staff home and shut them down or find another way to fund it. We coined the phrase ‘failed policies of the 90’s’ to hide the misery created during the 80’s – to shift the blame for political reasons.

        • Pascal's bookie

          Who do you think people mean when they say ‘neo libs’ burt?

          For someone who rages against partisanship, you sure have some blind spots.

          • burt

            By 1990 the temporary Labour neo libs were over their tea break and on their track back to the good old ways that won elections in the 70’s. They handed National a basket case economy that didn’t know if it was Arther or Marthe.

            That is the context for the failed policies of the 90’s.

            • felix

              So it was those – what, 2 years? – that ruined all Roger’s good work, and ruined everything for Ruth too. And for that other chap.

              And if it weren’t for whatever the Labour govt did in those last couple of years (which was what exactly?) it all would’ve worked out hunky dory.

              Is that really what you’re saying?

            • Pascal's bookie

              Weird. Deeply.

            • KJT

              Funny that UK, US and NZ. The countries that went furthest down the neo-lib track are all heading to be basket cases. Even the blind like Garth George are starting to notice.
              The ones that did not are still doing OK, especially the Aussies. and do not say it is the minerals. That is crap.

        • KJT

          Neo-libs were both parties Burt.

          Much as I dislike neo-lib religion some of the things done in 1984 were necessary. Removing overgenerous subsidies to farmers and business was one. Making access to tertiary education easier was another.

          What they did wrong was they not only threw out the bathwater, (Which was necessary) but also the baby and the bath. When dogma substituted for reality.

  7. randal 7

    whats even worse is when you book up a few grands worth and then you cant get a job even when you have been hightly trained and have specialist skills.
    they dont care about that.

    • KJT 7.1

      My sympathy, but having to pay part of the cost makes people think about the real value of their education and what they are doing it for.

      You could say it is still too cheap when people go on things like dive instructor courses training endless dive instructors.

      I do not think there is much public good in the endless stream of law and commerce graduates.

      There is an argument that courses such as science, medicine, engineering and teaching, where we need a greater level of skills, should be subsidised more as the resulting income is less while the public benefits are greater.

      • Carol 7.1.1

        But relating funding of unis totally to job outcomes follows a line that came in with the neoliberal turn: ie that education is solely about preparing for work.

        Prior to that there was a broader view of education being for all aspects of life, including citizenship, and an education to participate knowledgeably & critically in a democracy.

  8. KJT 8

    I agree that interest free was an excellent idea, but I still think it is fair on others for students to pay part of the costs. Having student loans also allows students money to live on so poorer students do not have to work their way through training. They can defer the costs until they are working.

    Penalties preventing those overseas from coming back is a red herring. Are the people who are too selfish to pay back a share of the education we, mostly, paid for while earning an excellent income overseas the types we actually want back. We have enough me me types already.

    When I was an employer I did train people.
    I got back the cost many times in loyalty and hard work from them.
    Part of the problem though is customers kick up when they are billed for an apprentice. They do not seem to realise that having a gofer allows a trades person to do the job much faster, So the total bill would probably have been higher without one..
    The other one is the academic requirements for trade training have been increased so much that you keep losing them from the job. I do not see in many cases that the academic part of the training actually adds anything rather than costs to the employer and trainee and “bums on seats” for all these tertiary institutions that have sprung up. You learn to paint houses by painting houses under the supervision of someone who knows how to paint houses. You learn how to run a business by running a business. Not by sitting in a classroom.

    • Rosy 8.1

      Agreed, shared cost is not a problem. Also agree on-the-job training is essential to develop good tradespeople.
      In 2009 of 125,962 industry trainees were in training. (down from 133,303 in 2008) with only 12,121 in ‘modern apprenticeships’ – down a hundred on the previous year.

      I suggest employers are wanting the students to train to get the job, rather than providing training on the job and the vast majority of these students have student loans, and the vast majority of employers do not share the costs of getting skilled tradespeople.

      And we still talk about student loans as if they’re for rich university kids who will earn enough to easily pay them back.

      • KJT 8.1.1

        Or the majority of tradespeople now are not earning enough to pay for training and absences compared with the days when a good tradesperson and apprentice could make a decent living.

        However I found training my own people was better than training a graduate who had to have all the BS removed before they could do useful work.

        I used to get lawyers who charge out at 600 an hour complaining about paying 45 an hour.
        They would prattle about overheads and their training costs whereas both were much higher for me than for them.

  9. ZB 9

    The issue is just one of many where the parliament enact draconian laws that funnel citizens into crime, debt, lying…
    …and there is little recourse for individuals to rectify matters until the policy has fully turd bloomed beyond even the intransidient far right nutter media can ‘clean up’ the turd blossom’.

    Like a capital gains tax, without which our economy cannot turn and face the new economy. How anyone can trust the NZ dollar when piles of junk NZ dollars accure in accounts daily by avoiding tax I don’t know! Our economies taxation system is woefully inefficient, and one reaosn for the student debt burden was because there was no capital gains tax and students would reap great rewards staying in NZ without a capital gains tax!

  10. Draco T Bastard 10

    The student existing loans should be written off, university fees dropped and a universal student allowance brought in – one equivalent to the UB. University libraries transferred over to e-book format and made available to everyone via the internet which should, at least, save on book costs as students won’t have to buy books. Make the reading lists for courses, lectures (Streamed/available for download) and exams available online as well (without needing to register), and you would probably see less people going to university and more people being educated.

    People seem to be holding on to the 19th/20th century idea of university education – this is the 21st century and things have changed. The most successful people tend to be self educated and what holds most people back there is that they just can’t access the resources as they don’t have the funds.

    • Lanthanide 10.1

      “University libraries transferred over to e-book format and made available to everyone via the internet which should, at least, save on book costs as students won’t have to buy books.”

      ’cause that just happens overnight with the wave of a magic wand, and doesn’t cost anything to implement at all? And, all textbooks that students use in courses are provided by the government, not international textbook publishers that actually want to make a profit when they sell books. Oh wait.

      • Draco T Bastard 10.1.1

        That’s the way it is ATM due to the failed system called capitalism. We need to change the system.

        • KJT

          Capitalism works fine so long as one sector does not have monopoly control. We control it, not finance houses.

          However democratic control is not likely when both our major parties follow the myth of representative democracy. Change your dictatorship every 3 years.

          And the party in power has a figurehead hand picked from the finance industry ranks.

          • Draco T Bastard

            Capitalism doesn’t work as it removes decision making from the majority of people (it is inherently dictatorial) and then also removes accountability from those who make the decisions allowing, and even encouraging, corruption (See the actions of Double Dipton). Then, of course, there’s the fact that it’s pretty much destroyed our ecology to make a few people richer.

            Anyway that you measure it, capitalism is a failure.

    • Carol 10.2

      Increasingly Uni libraries have e-books and ejournals. But, yes they cost the library. And usually the licence for an ebook enables only a small number of people to access them at any one time (about 3 or 4 people).

      Currently the whole international Uni system/networks have been neo-liberalised. So lecturers need to be continually publishing – it’s a market system. Often lecture notes are made available to students online, but they need to be enrolled in the course to get access. Some lecturers are happy to put notes online, but some are reluctant to do so because they may get ripped off by other academics, losing the copyright etc. – especially if their lectures are on research in progress.

      MIT puts all their lectures online, but they have such high status it adds to their kudos & market worth, and they can get away with it in ways lesser institutions can’t. But it’s all on the MIT site for anyone in the world who is interested and has web access.

      Hard for one government to buck the entire system at the moment.

    • ZB 10.3

      Its called broadband. The highway system of the new economy. We should not need to send our kids to a school miles away when they can get all the access they need at the corner wifi link and a teacher. We do not need to send young adults to higher institutions since all the available talent is wasting on the dole already right next door! If there was ever a call for capitalists its now. Its a shocker how centrally planned out economies are by neo-liberals who enact what they like and then claim they don’t regulate! These people are nothing better than National Socialists.

      The giant loophole in Student Loans will hurt NZ, as EU, Uk, US, have to inflate their way out of their debt! Its
      simply implausible for these countries to export their way out! They destroyed the liberal arts, movies, and culture
      that could pander to the emerging economies by making businesses degree bland ditto head executives.
      Its really going to be hard for a kiwi to return home if there is loan debt on the record, because its just going to cost them more and more, NZ is well positioned (if National can get broadband up and running in towns and cities
      across the country) – ps the whole crap about broadband to the farmers is a crock, it will be cheaper to get to the farmers once the price of the cables and the infrastructure is build in towns.

      I believe NZ could prosper, with CGT, with broadband, with a real business ethos that growing people into skills and business is the only way to grow the economy. But this is unlikely to happen, past experience shows the elites just get more arrogantly stupid until the crisis reaches a head, the problem with this crisis is it will be too late to stop massive dislocation from climate, resource, population… crisises. If we were really serious we’d shut down schools, universities and solve all the problems as we build the much more local societies we need in global networked world,
      and we’d have the patents from our solutions to rule the world for the next century. 😉

      Opportunity abounds, yet our inane elites are too desperate to restart the stupid finance economy to see it.

  11. comedy 11

    Hmm what else should be free – how about food, transport, accomodation and entertainment. Yes let’s make everything free and just get the gummint to borrow more money to pay for it – can I have another four LCD TVs as well

    • Pete 11.1

      Reductio ad absurdum does not an argument make.

      • Macro 11.1.1

        Sometimes it does, when all the propositions are of equal validity, but in Comedy’s case they are not, Some are basic human “rights” vis Accommodation and Food and so are in a different class to LCD TV’s; and transport is a variable that would have different “value” to different people.

    • Draco T Bastard 11.2

      Your lack of argument is basically stupid but your biggest mistake is believing that money pays for anything. Money is not a resource, money is an abstract tool, ergo, money doesn’t pay for anything. This, really, is the lesson that the world refuses to learn from the GFC and the collapse of the financial economy. Same as they failed to learn it in the 1930s or the 19th century or even from the collapse of the Roman Empire.

      • comedy 11.2.1

        Is this the piffle they teach you to spout at university these days or is just part of the troll bot programme ?

      • KJT 11.2.2

        Unfortunately, nobody has been able to come up with anything better than the market for deciding what gets produced and for whom. Command and control economies do not work either.
        I would agree, though, that using money as a commodity as if it had intrinsic value in itself, beyound that of representing hours of labour or raw materials, and financiers clipping the ticket on every transaction has failed us.
        That, however, is more to do with the fact we have abandoned control of our society to a political class which is heavily indebted to banks for their financing.

  12. KJT 12

    It should be subsidised, but there are many good reasons why it should not be free to students. I think we have already covered them.
    Students value their education and do not waste it.
    Cost. Just allowing everyone to go on to tertiary training just because they want to would break us.
    Universities are capable of absorbing every dollar they can get. Not to mention all the other courses providers will make up to get funding. It happens now because getting courses approved for subsidies is too easy and some courses are too cheap for students.
    It imposes a discipline on providers to actually listen to clients/pupils.
    There is an element of private good in tertiary education.

    The ones overseas who do not pay their loans are thieves and we should not reward them by rebating their loans.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Joint statement on the New Zealand – Cook Islands Joint Ministerial Forum – 2024
    1.  New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Rt Hon Winston Peters; Minister of Health and Minister for Pacific Peoples Hon Dr Shane Reti; and Minister for Climate Change Hon Simon Watts hosted Cook Islands Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration Hon Tingika Elikana and Minister of Health Hon Vainetutai Rose Toki-Brown on 24 May ...
    3 hours ago
  • Middle East, Africa deployments extended
    The Government has approved two-year extensions for four New Zealand Defence Force deployments to the Middle East and Africa, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “These deployments are long-standing New Zealand commitments, which reflect our ongoing interest in promoting peace and stability, and making active ...
    20 hours ago
  • Climate Change Commission Chair to retire
    The Climate Change Commission Chair, Dr Rod Carr, has confirmed his plans to retire at the end of his term later this year, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “Prior to the election, Dr Carr advised me he would be retiring when his term concluded. Dr Rod Carr has led ...
    21 hours ago
  • Inaugural Board of Integrity Sport & Recreation Commission announced
    Nine highly respected experts have been appointed to the inaugural board of the new Integrity Sport and Recreation Commission, Sport & Recreation Minister Chris Bishop says. “The Integrity Sport and Recreation Commission is a new independent Crown entity which was established under the Integrity Sport and Recreation Act last year, ...
    24 hours ago
  • A balanced Foreign Affairs budget
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters confirmed today that Vote Foreign Affairs in Budget 2024 will balance two crucial priorities of the Coalition Government.    While Budget 2024 reflects the constrained fiscal environment, the Government also recognises the critical role MFAT plays in keeping New Zealanders safe and prosperous.    “Consistent with ...
    1 day ago
  • New social housing places to support families into homes
    New social housing funding in Budget 2024 will ensure the Government can continue supporting more families into warm, dry homes from July 2025, Housing Ministers Chris Bishop and Tama Potaka say. “Earlier this week I was proud to announce that Budget 2024 allocates $140 million to fund 1,500 new social ...
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand’s minerals future
    Introduction Today, we are sharing a red-letter occasion. A Blackball event on hallowed ground. Today  we underscore the importance of our mineral estate. A reminder that our natural resource sector has much to offer.  Such a contribution will not come to pass without investment.  However, more than money is needed. ...
    2 days ago
  • Government sets out vision for minerals future
    Increasing national and regional prosperity, providing the minerals needed for new technology and the clean energy transition, and doubling the value of minerals exports are the bold aims of the Government’s vision for the minerals sector. Resources Minister Shane Jones today launched a draft strategy for the minerals sector in ...
    2 days ago
  • Government progresses Māori wards legislation
    The coalition Government’s legislation to restore the rights of communities to determine whether to introduce Māori wards has passed its first reading in Parliament, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “Divisive changes introduced by the previous government denied local communities the ability to determine whether to establish Māori wards.” The ...
    2 days ago
  • First RMA amendment Bill introduced to Parliament
    The coalition Government has today introduced legislation to slash the tangle of red and green tape throttling some of New Zealand’s key sectors, including farming, mining and other primary industries. RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop says the Government is committed to  unlocking development and investment while ensuring the environment is ...
    2 days ago
  • Government welcomes EPA decision
    The decision by Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) to approve the continued use of hydrogen cyanamide, known as Hi-Cane, has been welcomed by Environment Minister Penny Simmonds and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay.  “The EPA decision introduces appropriate environmental safeguards which will allow kiwifruit and other growers to use Hi-Cane responsibly,” Ms ...
    2 days ago
  • Speech to Employers and Manufacturers Association: Relief for today, hope for tomorrow
    Kia ora, Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou kātoa Tāmaki Herenga Waka, Tāmaki Herenga tangata Ngā mihi ki ngā mana whenua o tēnei rohe Ngāti Whātua ō Ōrākei me nga iwi kātoa kua tae mai. Mauriora. Greetings everyone. Thank you to the EMA for hosting this event. Let me acknowledge ...
    2 days ago
  • Government invests in 1,500 more social homes
    The coalition Government is investing in social housing for New Zealanders who are most in need of a warm dry home, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. Budget 2024 will allocate $140 million in new funding for 1,500 new social housing places to be provided by Community Housing Providers (CHPs), not ...
    3 days ago
  • $24 million boost for Gumboot Friday
    Thousands more young New Zealanders will have better access to mental health services as the Government delivers on its commitment to fund the Gumboot Friday initiative, says Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey.  “Budget 2024 will provide $24 million over four years to contract the ...
    3 days ago
  • Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill passes first reading
    The Coalition Government’s Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill, which will improve tenancy laws and help increase the supply of rental properties, has passed its first reading in Parliament says Housing Minister Chris Bishop. “The Bill proposes much-needed changes to the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 that will remove barriers to increasing private ...
    4 days ago
  • Montecassino Commemorative Address, Cassino War Cemetery
    Standing here in Cassino War Cemetery, among the graves looking up at the beautiful Abbey of Montecassino, it is hard to imagine the utter devastation left behind by the battles which ended here in May 1944. Hundreds of thousands of shells and bombs of every description left nothing but piled ...
    4 days ago
  • First Reading – Repeal of Section 7AA of the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989
    I present a legislative statement on the Oranga Tamariki (Repeal of Section 7AA) Amendment Bill Mr. Speaker, I move that the Oranga Tamariki (Repeal of Section 7AA) Amendment Bill be now read a first time. I nominate the Social Services and Community Committee to consider the Bill. Thank you, Mr. ...
    4 days ago
  • First reading of 7AA’s repeal: progress for children
    The Bill to repeal Section 7AA of the Oranga Tamariki Act has had its first reading in Parliament today. The Bill reaffirms the Coalition Government’s commitment to the care and safety of children in care, says Minister for Children Karen Chhour.  “When I became the Minister for Children, I made ...
    4 days ago
  • China Business Summit 2024
    Kia ora koutou, good morning, and zao shang hao. Thank you Fran for the opportunity to speak at the 2024 China Business Summit – it’s great to be here today. I’d also like to acknowledge: Simon Bridges - CEO of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce. His Excellency Ambassador - Wang ...
    4 days ago
  • Assisted depatures from New Caledonia
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has confirmed a New Zealand Government plane will head to New Caledonia in the next hour in the first in a series of proposed flights to begin bringing New Zealanders home.    “New Zealanders in New Caledonia have faced a challenging few days - and bringing ...
    4 days ago
  • Assisted departures from New Caledonia
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has confirmed a New Zealand Government plane will head to New Caledonia in the next hour in the first in a series of proposed flights to begin bringing New Zealanders home.  “New Zealanders in New Caledonia have faced a challenging few days - and bringing them ...
    4 days ago
  • Government to rollout roadside drug testing
    The Coalition Government will introduce legislation this year that will enable roadside drug testing as part of our commitment to improve road safety and restore law and order, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Alcohol and drugs are the number one contributing factor in fatal road crashes in New Zealand. In ...
    5 days ago
  • Minister responds to review of Kāinga Ora
    The Government has announced a series of immediate actions in response to the independent review of Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. “Kāinga Ora is a large and important Crown entity, with assets of $45 billion and over $2.5 billion of expenditure each year. It ...
    5 days ago
  • Pseudoephedrine back on shelves
    Associate Health Minister David Seymour is pleased that Pseudoephedrine can now be purchased by the general public to protect them from winter illness, after the coalition government worked swiftly to change the law and oversaw a fast approval process by Medsafe. “Pharmacies are now putting the medicines back on their ...
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand-China Business Summit
    Tēnā koutou katoa. Da jia hao.  Good morning everyone.   Prime Minister Luxon, your excellency, a great friend of New Zealand and my friend Ambassador Wang, Mayor of what he tells me is the best city in New Zealand, Wayne Brown, the highly respected Fran O’Sullivan, Champion of the Auckland business ...
    5 days ago
  • New measures to protect powerlines from trees
    Energy Minister Simeon Brown has announced that the Government will make it easier for lines firms to take action to remove vegetation from obstructing local powerlines. The change will ensure greater security of electricity supply in local communities, particularly during severe weather events.  “Trees or parts of trees falling on ...
    1 week ago
  • Wairarapa Moana ki Pouakani win top Māori dairy farming award
    Wairarapa Moana ki Pouakani were the top winners at this year’s Ahuwhenua Trophy awards recognising the best in Māori dairy farming. Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka announced the winners and congratulated runners-up, Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board, at an awards celebration also attended by Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Finance Minister ...
    1 week ago
  • DJ Fred Again – Assurance report received
    "On the 27th of March, I sought assurances from the Chief Executive, Department of Internal Affairs, that the Department’s correct processes and policies had been followed in regards to a passport application which received media attention,” says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “I raised my concerns after being ...
    1 week ago
  • District Court Judges appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins has announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges, to replace Judges who have recently retired. Peter James Davey of Auckland has been appointed a District Court Judge with a jury jurisdiction to be based at Whangarei. Mr Davey initially started work as a law clerk/solicitor with ...
    1 week ago
  • Unions should put learning ahead of ideology
    Associate Education Minister David Seymour is calling on the Post Primary Teachers’ Association (PPTA) to put ideology to the side and focus on students’ learning, in reaction to the union holding paid teacher meetings across New Zealand about charter schools.     “The PPTA is disrupting schools up and down the ...
    1 week ago
  • Craig Stobo appointed as chair of FMA
    Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Andrew Bayly today announced the appointment of Craig Stobo as the new chair of the Financial Markets Authority (FMA). Mr Stobo takes over from Mark Todd, whose term expired at the end of April. Mr Stobo’s appointment is for a five-year term. “The FMA plays ...
    1 week ago
  • Budget 2024 invests in lifeguards and coastguard
    Surf Life Saving New Zealand and Coastguard New Zealand will continue to be able to keep people safe in, on, and around the water following a funding boost of $63.644 million over four years, Transport Minister Simeon Brown and Associate Transport Minister Matt Doocey say. “Heading to the beach for ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand and Tuvalu reaffirm close relationship
    New Zealand and Tuvalu have reaffirmed their close relationship, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says.  “New Zealand is committed to working with Tuvalu on a shared vision of resilience, prosperity and security, in close concert with Australia,” says Mr Peters, who last visited Tuvalu in 2019.  “It is my pleasure ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand calls for calm, constructive dialogue in New Caledonia
    New Zealand is gravely concerned about the situation in New Caledonia, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.  “The escalating situation and violent protests in Nouméa are of serious concern across the Pacific Islands region,” Mr Peters says.  “The immediate priority must be for all sides to take steps to de-escalate the ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand welcomes Samoa Head of State
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met today with Samoa’s O le Ao o le Malo, Afioga Tuimalealiifano Vaaletoa Sualauvi II, who is making a State Visit to New Zealand. “His Highness and I reflected on our two countries’ extensive community links, with Samoan–New Zealanders contributing to all areas of our national ...
    1 week ago
  • Island Direct eligible for SuperGold Card funding
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has announced that he has approved Waiheke Island ferry operator Island Direct to be eligible for SuperGold Card funding, paving the way for a commercial agreement to bring the operator into the scheme. “Island Direct started operating in November 2023, offering an additional option for people ...
    1 week ago
  • Further sanctions against Russia
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today announced further sanctions on 28 individuals and 14 entities providing military and strategic support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.  “Russia is directly supported by its military-industrial complex in its illegal aggression against Ukraine, attacking its sovereignty and territorial integrity. New Zealand condemns all entities and ...
    1 week ago
  • One year on from Loafers Lodge
    A year on from the tragedy at Loafers Lodge, the Government is working hard to improve building fire safety, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says. “I want to share my sincere condolences with the families and friends of the victims on the anniversary of the tragic fire at Loafers ...
    1 week ago
  • Pre-Budget speech to Auckland Business Chamber
    Ka nui te mihi kia koutou. Kia ora and good afternoon, everyone. Thank you so much for having me here in the lead up to my Government’s first Budget. Before I get started can I acknowledge: Simon Bridges – Auckland Business Chamber CEO. Steve Jurkovich – Kiwibank CEO. Kids born ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand and Vanuatu to deepen collaboration
    New Zealand and Vanuatu will enhance collaboration on issues of mutual interest, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “It is important to return to Port Vila this week with a broad, high-level political delegation which demonstrates our deep commitment to New Zealand’s relationship with Vanuatu,” Mr Peters says.    “This ...
    1 week ago

Page generated in The Standard by Wordpress at 2024-05-25T00:58:58+00:00