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Salient. Victoria University Students Newspaper. Vol. 38, No. 4, 1975

The Minister and the Bursaries — Would you buy a Used Bursary from this Man? He Certainly wouldn't give it to you

page 7

The Minister and the Bursaries

Would you buy a Used Bursary from this Man? He Certainly wouldn't give it to you

Cartoon of Minister Amos's head on a snail shell

Mr Amos and his Department have been mucking around for some time over a standard tertiary bursary. They seem to have a remarkable ability to change their minds at short notice, as the following extracts show:

1. In a letter to a Hamilton student dated 18 February 1975 Mr Amos said: referring to university and technical institute bursaries: 'One type of bursary would not be increased without making a similar adjustment to the other.'

But on 10 March 1975 Mr Amos announced bursary increases of $100 for all Tech Institute students, and next to nothing for university students.

2. In an interview on Checkpoint 13 January 1975, Mr Amos noted that the Standard Tertiary Bursary had been deferred but 'in the meantime I think some interim assistance must be provided to the students for boarding purposes.'

Well - and what do we think of Mr Amos' Must?

3. In a letter of 22 August 1974 Mr Amos said 'the government is working towards the early introduction of a standard bursary scheme.'

But at the meeting with NZUSA on 14 February 1975 Mr Amos had only a brief 'feasibility study' to show for two years' work since the 1972 election manifesto.

4. On July 4 1973, NZUSA was promised a white paper on the STB. May 1974, NZUSA promised 'broad outline proposals towards a policy'

July 1974, a preliminary paper is circulated among teachers' organisations.

May 1974, white paper in Labour archieves.

The dreaded term 'position paper' has also been used at times. With all these papers floating around one hopes the government is recycling - or is it backtracking?

5. 15 January 1975 - Mr Amos writes to NZTISA (Tech Studass) saying there will be no increase in tech institute bursaries this year.

On March 10, after further correspondence with NZTISA Mr Amos announces an increase in tech bursaries.

6. In his March 10 statement Mr Amos said he'd be presenting a report to cabinet on the STB shortly. Later he has announced that this will be ready in time for the budget exercise. This is a short time period - too short one suspects for a full consideration of the scheme by interested bodies and organisations. Yet Mr Amos has always agreed that there should be full consultation. And Deputy Prime Minister Tizard has even used the fact of consultations with student organisations as an excuse for the government's delays over bursaries! In a letter to a student in New Plymouth on February 27 Tizard wrote: 'Discussions have been taking place for some time (sic!) with representatives of the various student groups involved with a view to securing agreement on the best course to follow in introducing a Standard Tertiary Bursary. Inevitably this has meant a delay in coming to a decision. However I consider it has been preferable to allow the student groups the opportunity of considering specific proposals rather than the government making a decision without this consultation.'

There's one thing quite cunning about Mr Amos' last announcements. The times are such that they couldn't be better designed to dissipate student annoyance and anger - by stringing us along to firstly May for the proposals and then June for the Budget. By then, with exams and stuff, we might be a bit too busy - or, who knows? - we might all have dropped out thru no money. Either way, the troubles diminish.

Amos won't give us anything for bursaries - let's show him how generous we are and give him arseholes.