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Our Successes - New Zealand Union of Students' Association

Our Successes

The Long View: 1988

  • Fees were $125 a year
  • Allowances had just been extended to everyone and a 20 year old student was eligible to receive $108 ($199 adjusted) a week if they were living away from home

Tangible Benefits

  • 2002: Student rep added to Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) Board
  • 2005: Interest-free student loans
  • 2005: Applications to have 10% fee increases rejected by TEC
  • 2010: Controls added to charge of the Compulsory Student Services Levy (CSSF)
  • 2012: Application for 8% exceptional fee increase rejected by TEC

NZUSA Lobby Gains

  • 1988 allowances were themselves the result of 1985-1988 lobbying with officials
  • In 1992 alone NZUSA achieved $10 million in benefits for students by getting Community Service Cards for all students in face of Ministerial opposition
  • Prevented student loan repayments being applied to all jobs attracting secondary tax
  • 2000: Freeze on fees
  • 2010: Restrictions on increases in CSSFs
  • 2012: Collaborative partnership for utilizing the Student Voice

Gains though engagement

  • 2000: Review of loan scheme massively improves student experience and efficiency of delivery
  • 1929 - 2013: Constant involvement with government over regulations and procedures
  • 1996-2000: Students added to CUAP (committee of university academic programmes), AAU (academic audit unit), TEC Board and Learners' Advisory Committee
  • Expansion of the categories covered by the Ministerial Direction in 2011 and defending that in December 2012
  • 2012: enthusiastic support for learner panels and best practice Student Voice principles project 


Gains though Elections

  • 1999: Education number two issue; change of government
  • 2005: Interest-free loans policy assists re-election of Labour Government
  • 2008: Interest-free loans adopted as National Party policy
  • 2011: Labour Party commits to universal allowance policy (joining Greens)

Held VSM off for 15 years

  • 1996: Michael Laws VSM Bill dies in Select Committee
  • 1998: VSM Bill converted from imposing individual membership to requiring referendums
  • 2000: WSU returns to universal membership through a student vote
  • 2001: AuSM, WITSA and SAWIT return to universal membership
  • 2006: USU returns to universal membership
  • Activists from other associations assisted in all of these campaigns

Wins for the Tertiary Sector

  • 1989: prevented a privatized loan-scheme by scaring off the banks
  • 1994: Todd Taskforce plan for increasing fees from $1500 to $7000 per year defeated
  • 1999: White Paper proposing privatization dropped by National Government after massive student protests
  • 2003: Introduction of fee maxima
  • 2009: National Party also adopts fee maxima policy
  • 2011: 120 of 121 MPs from parties supporting interest-free student loan policy.

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The voice of New Zealand's 400,000 students.

The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations exists to advance the political, social and economic interests of tertiary students whatever they study and wherever they live. NZUSA is a membership body of local students' associatons. We believe in opportunity for all.

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