Post-Secondary and Tertiary Education

“New Zealand First’s upfront investment in post-secondary education will get rid of the student loan for Kiwi students who stay and work in New Zealand once their studies are completed. We will introduce a Universal Living Allowance which will not be subject to parental means testing. This is about encouraging our best to fulfill their full potential. The only requirement is that they work for the same number of years as they have studied. New Zealand First will also change the system for those with student loans, retiring debt on a dollar-for-dollar basis if they work in the regions and in a field directly related to their qualifications. This could be a teacher in Auckland or an electrician in Southland. For those who opt to work overseas then they will be expected to pay back some of their tertiary education costs. We need our best and brightest to remain in New Zealand where they can invest their energies into building our country’s future.”

— Rt Hon Winston Peters.


  • Introduce the complete Up Front Investment policy which includes a universal living allowance which is not means tested and access to the full accommodation supplement for all full-time students.
  • Immediately introduce a dollar-for-dollar debt write-off scheme so that graduates in identified areas of workforce demand may trade a year’s worth of debt for each year of paid full-time work in New Zealand in that area.
  • Ensure the student voice is heard at all institutions through well-resourced systems for student advocacy.
  • Work with NZUSA and the sector to establish the feasibility of implementing two-thousand ‘First in Family’ tertiary scholarships each year to help those who would be the first in their immediate family to achieve a degree.
  • Review funding and attendance models that create barriers to achieving recognized NZQA qualifications through flexible individual training agreements and workplace internships.
  • Work alongside the sector to develop and resource a clear understanding of the Skills Leadership role and the roles of other stakeholders, ie. trainees, secondary schools, employers.
  • Minimise the “opportunity costs” (administration and compliance) and financial barriers for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to employ apprentices and provide flexibility for provincial and rural New Zealand students.
  • Encourage strategic alliances between industry crown research institutes and tertiary institutions to increase the number of scholarships and government funded research grants available to graduates, universities and employers.


  • Restore "Computers in Homes" and directly support Digital Literacy Training for Older New Zealanders via SeniorNet.
  • Support the implementation of the ACE Aotearoa Draft Strategic Plan 2016-2036.
  • Review student support systems to ensure they are fit for purpose and have adequacy for life-long learning.
  • Work with the sector to develop legislative amendments to the Education Act 1989 clearly stating that life-long and intergenerational learning are necessary to ensure relevant skills are maintained or acquired as life circumstances and industry needs change.
  • Work with the Adult and Community Education sector to develop and implement an appropriate and affordable quality assurance process for ACE programmes and activities.