New Zealand Labour Party

Let’s do this – Let’s tackle the student debt monster


Parents of today’s primary and intermediate school students can rest easy knowing that Labour will ensure that their children will enter the workforce without the crippling burden of student debt, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. 

“Labour’s three year free post school education policy will roll out immediately. From the beginning of 2018, everyone starting tertiary education for the first time will get one year full-time study fees free. That will be extended to two years free in 2021 and three years free in 2024.

“Currently students leaving university with a bachelor’s degree have amassed nearly $26,000 on average of debt. Our primary school children won’t have this burden under Labour. 

“Since National has been in office,  the debt burden on graduates has risen by 37 per cent, with the student debt mountain now a massive $16 billion. 

“Graduates say that debt is putting them off having families and buying their own homes. 

“Post-secondary school qualifications are becoming a necessity. If New Zealand is to be a wealthy, successful country in the 21st Century we need more of our young people going on to universities, polytechnics, other tertiary providers, or industry training such as apprenticeships. 

“Labour’s plan will mean all our children will have the confidence to choose their post – school study without having to make difficult life choices later. We will make it easier for students right now to cover their cost of living with a $50 a week boost to allowances and living costs,” says Chris Hipkins.