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Student allowance is not enough to live on in Wellington

May 27th, 2013 | By | Category: Editor's Picks, Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

UPHILL STRUGGLE: Wellington students are finding the cost of living a challenge

WELLINGTON polytech student Rosaline Hagai gets $210 student allowance week but pays $230 on rent and $80 on food, so is looking for a job to be able to continue to live and study in Wellington.

High living costs mean most students have to rely on part-time jobs as well as their student allowance to be able to live and study in Wellington.

THE BASICS: Food and rent

“I’ve been searching for a job for a while now,” says Rosaline, below left. “I want to get one before I move on with my study.”  Rosaline relies on financial help from her family in Auckland to survive.

“I’m not finding it easy. I don’t know Wellington well enough. But I need a job because of my expenses.”

Institute of Sport student Nick Standen says: “I had to come to Wellington because of what I wanted to study. I couldn’t believe how much I’d pay to rent here.”

Nick pays $155, $20 on power and internet, $10 on travel and $50 on food each week. His student allowance is $172.51.

Wellington student rents exceed those of other cities. In Christchurch, the average student rent is between $90-$120, according to the online news website Stuff.

Students who live within a 15-minute walk of the Wellington CBD can expect pay around $200. (

Wanting to focus solely on studying has become difficult, and most students have to sacrifice some study time to work.

“I need to find one that suits my busy class schedule” says Nick. “I’ve been searching for a job since I came to Wellington in February.”

If students have no family support, they can receive up to $172.51 and can apply for a student accommodation supplement, according to the Studylink website.

It is recommended by Studylink that if students decide to work, it should be no more than 15 hours a week.

According to Dean Jervis, the marketing director for Student Job Search, finding a job is fairly easy for students who are determined.

Student Job Search provides a service whereby employers advertise jobs and students search for them.

“There are plenty of jobs available,” says Dean.  “Part-time students cover the peaks, so there is no need to carry full-time employees through the business troughs. Students are also quick, willing to learn, and inject enthusiasm and youthful energy into a workplace.

“Students tend to be well attuned with technology and can help a business move towards this direction. Students  are generally considered good value for money by employers.”

Rosaline and Nick have both tried finding a job through Student Job Search but with no luck.


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