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October 8, 2018 | by  | in News |
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NZUSA Sells Office, Escapes Debt

Dick pics, suspended contracts, resignations, and payouts… It hasn’t been the easiest year for New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA), but the union is coming out on top.
They’ve sold their office shares, escaping the stifling clamps of deficit to “ensure that future students were not deprived of a voice fighting for them at a national level,” according to NZUSA President Jonathan Gee.
The sale of the office means that NZUSA is no longer in debt.
The student union will move from level 3 of 354 Lambton Quay to the 8th Floor of Education House on Willis St, a few doors down from the Tertiary Education Union.

“We’ve had a long history of sharing common goals with the TEU, so ultimately this is a positive and strategic move for NZUSA,” said Gee.
National Secretary of TEU Sharn Riggs said that sharing a floor means “we can easily coordinate lobbying plans and align our messages so that in seeking to improve the working conditions for staff we are also improving the learning conditions for students, and vice versa”.
NZUSA advocates for the common and collective concerns of students. The union has seen consistent financial hardship since Voluntary Student Membership became law in 2012. That year alone, revenue from student associations dropped $271,000.
Earlier this year, senior staff member allegedly sent a dick pic to three employees. The employees soon resigned, and the scandal caused the organization to forfeit a $1.4 million dollar contract with ACC to combat sexual violence.
With NZUSA’s obvious need for bail-out, VUWSA voted to give an advance payment of $22,750 of their 2019 levy this past May. Otago University Students’ Association, Lincoln University Students’ Association, Massey University Student Association, and Albany Students’ Association followed suit. NZUSA was still desperate for money. In July, the organization put out a plea for donations from alumni.
At the end of the 2018 academic year, NZUSA has channeled a bit of Kiwi initiative and taken matters into its own hands, with the National Executive making the final call to move office.
Student Association Presidents stand behind NZUSA’s move.

“All Students’ Associations manage very tight budgets, and finances are always a challenge. Here at AS@U we are glad that NZUSA is now in a better financial position to continue their hard work as the national student voice, because it is an important part of student life,” said Karla Davis, Acting Student President of Association of Students at UCOL.
Regarding this year’s challenges, Gee said “we’ve achieved a great deal for them – achieving a $50 increase in student financial support, getting student mental health on the national agenda, and free fees to name a few”.
Caitlin Barlow-Groome, Otago University Students’ Association President, agreed that “students need to know that despite NZUSA’s challenges this year we’ve achieved a great deal for them… People constantly take the lobbying work NZUSA do for granted”.
Gee acknowledged that “it’s only been with the help of members, alumni, community leaders, and like-minded organisations that we’ve been able to endure through the challenges we’ve had this year”.

Next year NZUSA will celebrate its 90th birthday.
“Internally, I’m working on our budget and structure to ensure that our organisation is future-proofed and ready to continue fighting for students for another 90 years, at least,” said Gee.

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