Greens call for immediate student support, launches petition

Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand

Green Party Tertiary Education Spokesperson Chlöe Swarbrick has launched a petition calling for immediate, meaningful support for students, saying the Government’s announced boost to the student hardship funds doesn’t go far enough.

“COVID-19 has impacted so many of our vulnerable communities disproportionately and students have been hit hard. We believe all students should have access to direct financial support so that they can continue to study safely during these difficult times,” says Swarbrick.

“Students are facing rising rents and other high living costs, at what is a stressful time for everyone, especially Aucklanders still in lockdown. Many are not able to access other supports like the wage subsidy.

“The Government’s announcement today to top up University-facilitated Hardship Grants doesn’t go far enough to support the quarter of a million students across Aotearoa. Many students report access to these funds requires a substantial amount of time and energy, and that it can feel deeply embarrassing to have to prove just how poor they are to access them.

“We’re asking for immediate, direct financial support available for all students. While a Guaranteed Minimum Income would be the best-case scenario, at the very least, the Government can pull the same lever it did last year during lockdown and double the borrowing allowance for course-related costs.

“It’s time to remind the Government of the power of 250,000 students and demand meaningful support.”

The petition can be found here.

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