ACT Party leader and alleged hologram David Seymour has lashed out against the New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) amid claims the organisation is on the decline.
NZUSA—a membership body of students’ associations that advocates on behalf of students—will have only 10 members left by the end of the year, after VUWSA and OUSA last year notified their intention to withdraw.
This exodus prompted concerns from Labour Tertiary Education Minister David Cunliffe, who said that “despite representing 400,000 tertiary students, the union established in 1929 [NZUSA] may have to fold.”
Seymour, however, welcomed the decline. “The decline of student unionism proves what we’ve always suspected: students never wanted to join unions and now it seems the unions themselves don’t want to join NZUSA.”
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The Epsom MP and voice of oppressed students across New Zealand discussed the futility of student unions.
“The union has typically lobbied as though students never graduate. They consistently argue for subsidies and price controls that will lower the quality of education while whacking taxpaying graduates. This is likely because many student politicians themselves never graduate.”
Seymour went on to explain ACT’s involvement in NZUSA’s downfall.
“Thanks to ACT’s Voluntary Student Membership (VSM) bill”—which, when passed in 2011, sparked scenes of exultation and jubilance across universities nationwide—“tertiary students are no longer forced to fund breeding grounds for aspiring socialist politicians.”
Having successfully graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Auckland, Seymour himself was clearly above engaging in student politics.
MPs who were student politicians
Paula Bennett—Cabinet Minister
MUSA Welfare Officer, 1995
MUSA President, 1996
Hekia Parata—Cabinet Minister
WSU President, 1980
Todd Muller—MP for Bay of Plenty
WSU President, 1992
Andrew Little—Leader of the Opposition
VUWSA President, 1987
NZUSA President 1988-89
Grant Robertson—Deputy Leader of the Opposition
OUSA President, 1993
NZUSA Co-President, 1996
Chris Hipkins—MP for Rimutaka
VUWSA President, 2000-01
Ian Lees-Galloway—MP for Palmerston North
MUSA President, 2005
Trevor Mallard—MP for Hutt South
Wellington Teachers’ College Student President, 1976
Jenny Salesa—MP for Manukau East
Founding President, Pacific Island Law Students’ Association, University of Auckland, 1993-95
Peter Dunne—Leader, Minister of Internal Affairs
UCSA Vice President, 1974
UCSA President, 1975
UCSA Executive, 1976
Tumuaki, Te Iwi Maori Rawakore o Aotearoa, 1989-91
James Shaw—List MP
VUWSA Executive Officer, 1992-93
Jan Logie—List MP
NZUSA Women’s coordinator, 1993-96