Auckland University funding NZUSA

There is a very interesting Employment Relations Authority determination just published between and its former general manager.

The determination itself is basically about how AUSA almost went bankrupt, and the General Manager didn’t keep the Executive well enough informed. They were deemed justified in sacking him for this. They will be pleased their actions were justified by the ruling. In fact they seem to have followed better process than many other employers.

But what really struck me from the determination was this extract:

The Office of the Vice Chancellor (OVC) informed that in order to assist AUSA to be “a progressive and sustainable student organisation that delivers high quality services to students”, it was prepared to amend the 2012 Services Agreement to include funding of the and SJS levies.

That is beyond outrageous. NZUSA is a political lobby group that gets involves with highly contentious non-core student issues such as asset sales. To have agree to fund NZUSA is nuts. I can only presume that Auckland University has so much money it can spend some on funding lobby groups. well the Government should remember that the next time the university claims it needs more taxpayer funding.

Even worse, the Parliament of New Zealand passed a law mandating that membership of student associations must be voluntary. Having the university fund AUSA for its membership of NZUSA is a clear subversion of the law.

As I said, the easy thing for the Government to do is use this as an example every time the tertiary sector claims it has not enough money. What next – will Auckland University also start funding Greypower on behalf of its mature students?

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