A group of tertiary students is organising a protest near Auckland’s Britomart Transport Centre to express their discontent about New Zealand’s education policy.
New Zealand has the seventh highest tertiary fees in the world, and yet, the country’s young carry a student debt of $13 billion.
This protest, scheduled for 21 July at 1pm, is the latest in series of organized student protests against the National Government’s recent budget and market-based education policy.
Recently, the government announced $400 million in cuts to early childhood education and cuts to the student allowance scheme and arts funding.
The group of students behind the protests, Blockade the Budget, is extending the protest beyond tertiary students to include all those affected by budget cuts to the education sector.
The group claims that 15% of tertiary students in New Zealand live in absolute financial distress.
The group hopes to draw attention to some of the detrimental steps taken by the government including the damaging National Standards programme, performance-based pay for teachers and charter schools.
“We are bringing together a number of community groups, unions and educators,” says the protest organiser.
“All parties are invited to stand together in our struggle for the future of education in our country.
“This will be a large, festive demonstration. We want to creatively show our discontent and tell the truth about attacks on education, through a combination of a traditional protest march and family friendly street theatre.”
Anyone interested in joining the rally against education cuts are encouraged to meet at 1pm on Saturday 21 July at Britomart, Auckland CBD.