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Voluntary student membership backed

Oct 2nd, 2010 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

PHOTO: Google Images

PHOTO: Google Images

Voluntary student association membership, welcomed by voters in a NewsWire poll, could begin in 2012.

The 2012 date was named in the select committee report last week which recommended the Education (Freedom of Association) Amendment Bill proceed.

NewsWire asked respondents to choose between voluntary or compulsory membership and of the 101 people who responded, 67% were in favour of voluntary.

The poll was run in the wake of revelations that $1 million in cash and assets had disappeared from the Whitireia Independent Students Association earlier this year.

One of those who voted, Whitireia student Kate Melzer, is in favour of voluntary memberships.

She says she has lost faith in the ability to trust that her money is being well spent.

The Education and Science Select Committee reported back on September 24, recommending that the bill proceed.

The Bill removes any requirement for a student to join a students’ association.

ACT MP Heather Roy, who is sponsoring the bill, says she is not surprised by the results.

“I’m really pleased to see that there’s overwhelming support for voluntary and I’m not at all surprised to see this happen given the recent alleged fraudulent events.”

The NewsWire poll results differ dramatically from the Bill’s submissions, of which an overwhelming 98% opposed the bill.

Co-president of the New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations, David Do, slammed the select committee recommendation.

“National has chosen to ignore the overwhelming opposition to the bill, as well as the many compelling policy and practical arguments to maintain or enhance the current law,” Mr Do says.

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