© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2021

5,500 signature petition handed over at Parliament

Timithi Aplin-Barrett
The Beehive
The petition was handed over outside parliament  Timithi Aplin-Barrett

Post-graduate students want their student allowance reinstated.

Despite the heavy rain, students from various polytechnics and universities gathered on the parliament lawn to hand over a petition yesterday. 

Back in 2012, the student allowance for post-graduate students got abolished by the National government.

"We've heard stories about students who have found it incredibly hard to be a post graduate student in New Zealand. We've found people who've unfortunately decided not to enter into post graduate study as a result of not having a post graduate student allowance,"James Ranstead, president of the New Zealand Union of Students Association said. 

The petition to reinstate the allowance gathered 5,500 signatures and was handed over to Green Party MP Chloe Swarbrick.

"It is within the Green Party confidence and supply agreement with the Labour party to make tertiary study more affordable and accessible and I see reinstating the post graduate student allowance a big part in fulfilling that commitment," Swarbrick said. 

Dr Shane Reti, National Party Spokesperson for Tertiary Education said there's no guarantee the party will campaign on the issue in 2020 but, "we're here today to say we're ready to listen, we're ready to communicate, we're ready to understand some of the arguments."

Randstead said he was proud to have been there to hand over the petition.