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May 22, 2017 | by  | in Politics |
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The Party Line

On May 3, it was revealed that the Australian Government had decided to stop subsidising New Zealand citizens and Australian permanent residents to study at higher education institutions from the beginning of 2018. The decision means that affected students will be charged the domestic full-fee rate and, according to RNZ, this will push the amount they would pay to study in Australia from about $7,000 a year to about $24,000 a year. Is this decision fair?


Young Nats — Lower North Island

The National Party has been very clear that the special relationship between Australia and New Zealand is key to both our nations and must be built upon by respective governments.

On the issue of student fees, the Young Nats fully agree with Prime Minister Bill English that the proposal undermines traditions of equal treatment and that a serious discussion needs to be had between Australia and New Zealand around the intent of the policy and how it will affect New Zealanders studying in Australia.

The flip side of the Australian announcement is that New Zealanders will now be eligible for student loans from the Australian government for the first time. Although this does not solve fee increases for New Zealand students, it shows the Australian government still values the special relationship with New Zealand and is not planning on abandoning it anytime soon.

— Sam Stead

Greens at Vic

Absolutely not. The Green Party recognises that student debt has reached crisis level and is only acting as a barrier which prevents New Zealanders from furthering their education. New Zealanders living in Australia, including many teenagers now finishing high school, are now forced to choose between enormous debt or leaving their friends and family behind. This is simply unacceptable.

The Green Party supports a return to the fee-free public tertiary education system as well as debt write off schemes and a progressive loan repayment system. These are not radical or unaffordable ideas. New Zealand and Australia are both very wealthy countries. We can afford to follow in the footsteps of many European countries who offer free or affordable tuition to both domestic and international students. Limiting globalisation is not the answer — making it work for people rather than profit is.

— Kayden Briskie

Vic Labour

We have always had a close relationship with our mates over the ditch, but with their continued poor treatment these last few years, this relationship is losing the heat and sizzle of a good New Zealand vs. Australia test match.

The poor leadership of successive National Prime Ministers in this area will result in New Zealanders living in Australia losing more rights, while their brothers and sisters over in New Zealand continue to receive preferential treatment. Student fees at $7,000 a year is already too much for many families to afford; $24,000 a year is an insult to our close relationship.

National has failed to look after the interests of New Zealanders and allowed us to be pushed around by a bully of a big brother that needs to be reminded that our relationship is a two way street. Labour will stand up for New Zealanders’ rights.

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About the Author ()

Salient is a magazine. Salient is a website. Salient is an institution founded in 1938 to cater to the whim and fancy of students of Victoria University. We are partly funded by VUWSA and partly by gold bullion that was discovered under a pile of old Salients from the 40's. Salient welcomes your participation in debate on all the issues that we present to you, and if you're a student of Victoria University then you're more than welcome to drop in and have tea and scones with the contributors of this little rag in our little hideaway that overlooks Wellington.

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