Government’s sneaky moves push students into $15 billion debt

The Government is forcing students into more debt, by keeping the student accommodation payment capped at 2004 levels for more than a decade, the Green Party says.

Student Debt today tipped $15 billion.

“The accommodation payment was capped at $40 a week for single students way back in 2004, before YouTube even existed,” Green Party tertiary education spokesperson Gareth Hughes said.

“The average student today is likely to be paying 56 percent more rent than they were in 2004.*

“Rents are the biggest expense facing students who don’t live at home, and the outdated cap on accommodation payments is a sneaky way for the National Government to cut its spending by forcing young Kiwis into more debt.

“Instead of pretending students still live in 2004, when most students today were still in primary school, the Government needs to urgently review all student support payments to match the actual cost of living in 2016.

“$40 for accommodation just doesn’t cut it when a room in the average ‘cheap’ student flat costs $169 in Auckland, $141 in Wellington, and $126 in Christchurch.

“Living at home is just not an option for many students, particularly those from regional areas or those who have to move to do the right courses for their career.

“The Green Party sees education as one of the best investments a society can make. We’d help students make ends meet by reviewing all support payments, providing a Green Card for free off-peak public transport, and working towards a universal student allowance, including for postgraduate students,” said Mr Hughes.

*56 percent rent rise calculated using MBIE data on lower quartile (i.e. cheapest) rental properties, for a typical 3-bedroom student flat in the cities with universities.

Action

Virtual Events

We have activists across Aotearoa / New Zealand who are working hard to build a brighter future for our kids and grandkids. This page lists upcomin...
Take Action

Action

It's time to pay our essential workers a dignified wage

Our essential workers are the heroes getting us through the COVID-19 crisis, yet for too long they’ve been...
Take Action

Action

Join our call to stop funding fossil fuels!

We need to remove all public money managed by the Government from climate-changing fossil fuel industries.
Take Action

Action

Support our Climate Action Plan for bigger bolder climate action

We agree with all five of the School Strike for Climate's demands. Read more and sign the petition.
Take Action

Action

Show your support to end housing inequality

Our essential workers are the heroes getting us through the COVID-19 crisis, yet for too long they’ve been undervalued and many barely....
Take Action

Latest Tertiary Education Announcements

Story

Greens work to secure inquiry into Wild West student accommodation sector

The Green Party has begun the process for a Select Committee inquiry into student accommodation, which has been exposed during COVID-19 as an under...
Read More

Policy

Tertiary Education Policy

Supporting students creates a fairer society and a stronger economy. Tertiary education can help drive the transition to a sustainable Aotearoa New...
See More

Policy

Youth Affairs Policy

Young people should be empowered to create a better Aotearoa New Zealand and overcome the challenges created by previous generations. Democracy mus...
See More

Story

Green Party announces a better deal for students

The Green Party announced today that, in government, it will provide genuine support for students by bringing in a universal post-graduate student ...
Read More

Policy

Student fair deal

Students are the only group in society expected to borrow just to get by. We believe that students should be supported so that they can focus on le...
See More

Story

Help for young people into home ownership launched

The Green Party is launching a plan today to help people struggling with student loans get into their first home. Green MP Gareth Hughes’s Student ...
Read More