Fees free freeze

Jacinda Ardern announces, at Aotea College, free first year tertiary fees. ROSS GIBLIN/STUFF

When Ardern announced the fees free policy in December 2017 she said, “You will be the first but you won’t be the last.” Now that the back-down is being announced, Ardern has flitted off to Paris to shift the headlines away from another clanger in the “Year of delivery”.

Promises, promises …

Robertson has signalled that there was money left over from the fees-free package because it was not popular enough and it is being reallocated.

Sort of re-calibrated and reset and revised like 100,000 KiwiBuild houses and a billion trees and no strikes and no child poverty.


Anyone wishing to put money on this extending to three years’ free by 2024? quote.

The money was cut as the enrolments were not as high as the Government was expecting.

The fees free policy was designed to provide access to vocational training, apprenticeships and tertiary study for tens of thousands of people, according to last year’s Budget. […]

The $197 million has been reallocated to implementing reform of the vocational education section – an area that Education Minister Chris Hipkins is in the process of working through.

Robertson said this was an area where many have indicated they want reforms.

“And so do we.

“Put at its most simple, we need to value apprenticeships, trades and workplace training more.

“We need it to be higher quality, more accessible, more coordinated, and more relevant to businesses and regions.” […] End quote.

A Newspaper

Since not enough people used the money available for vocational training and apprenticeships, Robertson and Hipkins are redirecting the money into apprenticeships, trades and workplace [or vocational] training.

Riiiiight, got it.

Maybe this radical shift was something a working group suggested?