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July 26, 2010 | by  | in News |
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Former Finance Minister submits

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Submissions on Sir Roger Douglas’ Education (Freedom of Association) Amendment Bill are continuing to be heard in the Education and Science select committee.

Last week, former Labour Finance Minister, and former colleague of Sir Roger, David Caygill, along with his son James, presented a submission opposed to the bill.

David Caygill said that if people want to disassociate themselves from students’ associations when undertaking tertiary study, they should not be able to do so simply for financial advantage, NZPA reported.

Sir Roger was absent from the select committee hearings, which took place last Wednesday.

David Caygill said the so-called VSM bill would reduce the ability of students’ associations to serve and represent their members—the two things they were set up to do.

The select committee was questioned as to whether there is “some larger harm that needs to be addressed that justifies the disadvantages that this bill will clearly confer on students’ associations in the future”.

“We say no, that is in fact not the case,” Caygill said.

James Caygill said that nothing in the bill appeared to enhance the ability for people to freely associate or disassociate themselves from students’ associations.

He told the committee that if it was decided that legislation needed to be strengthened to enhance the ability to conscientiously object, it needed to be clear that would not confer financial advantage.

“If conscientious objection is something parliament feels it needs to enhance, by all means enhance it. But make sure it’s a neutral enhancement.”

Labour MP Trevor Mallard said that he suspected the government had realised there were “some dangers” in the bill, and that a compromise needed to be sought.

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Editor for 2010, politics nerd, panda fan and three-time award-winning student journalist.

Comments (3)

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  1. Nick C says:

    “James Caygill said that nothing in the bill appeared to enhance the ability for people to freely associate or disassociate themselves from students’ associations.”

    Errr, other than the fact that students are no longer forced to join a students association..

  2. Rebecca says:

    talk to anyone that has tried to disassociate themselves with the Union and see how easy it is. Not very.

  3. smackdown says:

    good use of “err” there really conveyes your sense of confusion

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