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Students Party To Oppose Bill

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Max Hardy
Max Hardy

Wellington, Nov 22 NZPA - Wellington students are having a party on Wednesday to highlight what could be lost if ACT's Education (Freedom of Association) Amendment Bill passes.

The controversial bill that will abolish compulsory student union membership took another step to becoming law when it passed its second reading in Parliament earlier this month on a vote of 64 to 54.

The bill was sponsored by ACT's Heather Roy and was given the green light by a select committee in September.

National and ACT are using their majority in Parliament to push it through, against fierce opposition from the Labour Party.

Supporters say student unions are the only ones left that have compulsory membership and end up being controlled by political activists who run partisan campaigns and who don't represent the members.

Opponents argue it will destroy valuable associations which provide services at universities and polytechs because most students are hard up and won't voluntarily pay fees.

On Wednesday student radio station the VBC 88.3FM would host a gig at the San Francisco Bath House to highlight concerns that the bill would gut funding to students' associations and clubs like the VBC.

The gig was organised by the VBC, the Victoria University of Wellington Students' Association (VUWSA) and the New Zealand Union of Students' Associations (NZUSA). Bands Glass Vaults, Jetsam Isles and Albert Mikoaj would play.

VUWSA President Max Hardy said the bill would cripple the VBC.

"Wellingtonians have enjoyed the support VBC provides to local Wellington music culture through giving local bands air time and holding regular gigs. It's important they know the student radio station could be at risk due to the government's actions."

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