New Zealand Labour Party

National must back our future doctors

National must support our future doctors and agree to the calls from the Medical Students’ Association and the Young Nats to lift the arbitrary 7 year cap on student loans for medical and dental students, Labour’s Tertiary Education Spokesperson David Cunliffe said today.

“It’s ridiculous that the next generation of Kiwi doctors cannot complete their studies because of National’s arbitrary 7 year cap.

“We need the best doctors and dentists to serve our people, not just those who can afford to study without loans or allowances.

“Steven Joyce cannot fob off the problem with the Trainee Intern Grant. That grant is only available for one year, when a quarter of medical students need 9 years to finish training – and either way the grant isn’t paid out until after the deadline for course fees to be paid.

“Labour will reverse the abolition of student allowances for postgraduate students and students in recognised Long Programmes, a policy we campaigned on in 2014.

"We cannot build a smarter future off the backs of students who cannot afford to live, let alone complete long or postgraduate courses. Labour will fix that,” David Cunliffe said.

The New Zealand Medical Students' Association is running a petition against Steven Joyce’s unworkable student loan cap. Visit to sign.