Press Release – Waikato Student Union
The Waikato Students’ Union is still angry at the passing into law of the Freedom of Association Act but is already working to ensure that students don’t suffer at the hands of poor decisions and worse lawmaking. “The students are at the heart … Waikato Students Union Angered but Optimistic
The Waikato Students’ Union is still angry at the passing into law of the Freedom of Association Act but is already working to ensure that students don’t suffer at the hands of poor decisions and worse lawmaking.
“The students are at the heart of everything we do here every day and we have been working steadily to ensure that they aren’t severely impacted by the new and challenging environment we will face moving forward,” said Waikato Students’ Union President Deni Tokunai.
“Nobody is wearing rose-tinted glasses. We all know the next few years will be challenging and this bill is aimed more at crippling the student voice and promoting a political ideology than it is helping students, but the bill has passed now and we are stuck with it.”
“The day after the act passed we all still showed up to the office and got back to work because what we do is essential and we will continue to do it. Our advocacy service provides essential information and support to students every day, including hardship grants and assistance for students. Our clubs network is a valuable socialization tool that has over 60 clubs and 5,000 members. Nexus magazine has been an active student voice on campus for over 40 years. All of these services are worth fighting for and we are working to ensure they remain effective and sustainable on campus for years to come.”
Deni Tokunai will attend a conference in Wellington over the weekend to discuss the implementation of the bill with other student associations.
“We are all in the same boat and we are working with the other associations as well as other partners and concerned parties to ensure that students don’t lose one of their last safety nets.”
The Freedom of Association Act passed through its final reading in the house on the 28th of September. It was a private members bill put forward by retiring Act MP Heather Roy. It remains the position of the Waikato Students’ Union that the bill is both dangerous and potentially harmful to students. We believe that this was the final desperate act of a retiring parliamentarian wanting to carve her name as a footnote in New Zealand legislative history in what would otherwise have been a largely unnoticed career in parliament.