The farce continues

Kapi-Mana News reports:

Whitireia Independent Students’ Association is in danger of being liquidated after one of its members appointed himself “liquidation acting president” to fast-track his own high court injunction.

Part-time student Graham McCready sought an injunction last month to shut down the organisation following allegations of fraud against former WISA president Loretta Ryder and vice president Tai Te Karu. An audit last month discovered more than $1 million in cash and assets missing from the association’s books.

WISA and Whitireia Community Polytechnic discredited Mr McCready’s moves because he was found guilty of tax fraud in 2008 and sentenced to six months’ home detention, but that case has since been appealed.

Mr McCready last week applied to New Zealand Incorporated Societies, via a petition signed by 15 students, and gained the authority to terminate the lease on WISA’s offices at Whitireia, close its bank accounts, cut telephone services and file a tax return claiming the association owed Inland Revenue $336,189.

Throughout the week WISA executive committee members were unable to access accounts to pay urgent expenses and have not received mail, because it had been collected by Mr McCready.

Acting student president Tim Manu says the association has become the victim of an imposter.

“I just don’t take him seriously. He’s going about [fixing the associations financial problems] in a destructive and malicious way. Those are not the qualities students want in a president. I don’t appreciate the fact he’s impersonating my role [as acting president] and I’ll make sure he’s held to account for that.”

Mr McCready, a retired accountant, insists he is using his “God-given talents” to help the students’ association.

“They can deny it all they want, but it’s happening. I’m going to have it shut down and start a new one … I have decided I will run for student president of the new students’ association.”

And under the current law, students will still be forced to join.

No matter how dysfunctional, how incompetent, a student association is – students are generally forced to join them.

The current law is a farce, and we only have it because Labour gain such immense benefits from compulsory membership.

National has a once in a generation opportunity to give students actual choice, and allow them to make up their own minds whether or not they join a student association. The process should be simply – when you enrol, you get told how much it costs to join the student association (or associations), what services they provide and you tick a box if you wish to join and pay.

If National fails to pass a law which gives students free choice, then they will be the ones to blame for all the future abuses of compulosry associations. The status quo is quite simply unacceptable.

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