28 Apr 2010

Bill proposes voluntary student membership

8:01 pm on 28 April 2010

Parliament has started hearing submissions on a bill that aims to make student association membership voluntary.

The legislation is a private member's bill in the name of ACT MP Sir Roger Douglas.

Sir Roger told the education & science select committee on Wednesday that the main reason for his Education (Freedom of Association) Amendment Bill was that students currently have no real choice.

But the co-president of the New Zealand Union of Students Associations, David Do, says there is no problem to fix.

He told the committee that voluntary membership in Australia and at New Zealand tertiary institutions had led to cuts in student services.

The national president of ACT on Campus, Peter McCaffrey, urged the committee to ignore arguments about student services and to

concentrate on the bill's intent, which is to give students freedom of choice.