A planted story?


Labour fanboi John Hartevelt has the heart-wrenching story of a young student who is now having to borrow more because of the evil government changes:

Caitlin Davies has been forced to add thousands of dollars in student loan debt and take on extra hours of part-time work so that she can finish her masters degree.

Ms Davies, 21, is among thousands of students part way through post-graduate study who will have their student allowance cut off when changes announced in last week’s Budget take effect next year.

“They just changed it without telling us and we can’t really do anything about it now because we’ve already started,” Ms Davies said.

“If we’d had warning, our decision-making would have been different.”

As well as freezing the parental income threshold at which students can claim a student allowance, the Government has also decided allowances will not be available to people in masters or PhD programmes – a move that will cut up to 5000 students from the scheme.

Ms Davies was eligible for the allowance in the first four years of her psychology studies because the income from her mother did not cross the threshold.

This wouldn’t be the same Caitlin Davies who was very active helping Grant Robertson at the last election in Wellington Central?

Surely it is just a coincidence that Grant Robertson is also the spokesman for Tertiary Education.

Perhaps if she spent less time drinking she may have enough money for study.

Once again repeaters have taken a nicely fed story and printed it without background checking their source wasn’t compromised in some way., or even connected with the Labour rent a quote spokesperson.

UPDATE: The person who took the photo I linked to says that Caitlin wasn’t involved. I will take him at his word. However I find it amazing that someone who professes to have never met Grant Robertson or supports Labour in fact “Likes” his Facebook page.


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  • Ben

    Haha, love that photo. Yeah I was a student once, I most certainly wasted a shitload of money on ‘extra cirricular’ activites.

    On another note, do we really need another student doing a masters in fucking psychology?

    • Boss Hogg

      Certainly not a damn leftie.

    • Phar Lap

       Agree most psychologists are fruit loops,they do that degree to hide their own demons,and use unsuspecting paying customers as a sounding board for their own personal train wrecks.

      • WayneO

        Unbelieveably spot on accurate!! This is my experience with ALL psyc students. Completely fucking loopy. Do not ever date one!! 

    • Hmmmm

      looking at her she could probably spend less time eating as well as drinking

  • alex

    While your character assassinations may be completely vile, I have very little sympathy for Young Labour.

    • Mark C

      Who’s assassinating her character? Pointing out that she’s conflicted, and could save some taxpayer money by staying off the piss, is just stating the obvious. Grow up.

      • alex

        Because one photo is evidence that she’s constantly on the piss? Maybe it was her birthday.

    • Guest

      If she wants to go to the press with her fake story then she leaves herself wide open to criticism when exposed .

  • Jester

    Sarah Jane Parton. Another affected student?

    Oh surprise surprise another Labour stooge!

    Took 2mins to find the connection.

    • S J Parton

       What connection, Jester?

      • AngryTory

        more spam

      • Landy

        Why not deny it then?   All you have done is demand to be told what their evidence is. 
        Answer them.

      • Landy

        I have submitted this to a well known satirical magazine wondering if it might fit their famous section PSEUD’S CORNER.

        It is from a Christchurch Art Gallery document, re New Zealand artist Sarah Jane Parton, who studied to age 23 to get a Massey Uni honours degree in “time-based art”, and then taught this at university, and is now exhibiting her art while family-raising.

        “Perched like a brooding bird in her own leafy dell, Parton performs a
        Tai Ch’i-like exercise routine while cooing along to the song ‘Suicide
        is painless’. She’s training, but for something more fundamental than
        sport. Bright Light is part exercise video, part new-age birthing rite,
        part natural history documentary…”

    • S J Parton

      I’ve been trawling the internet for a few minutes and can’t find anything to suggest that I am in any way connected to the Labour Party, let alone a ‘stooge’… care to illuminate me on how you came to this conclusion?

      • S J Parton

        I’m sorry, ‘Angry Tory’ (who wouldn’t be?), how am I a spammer? I have just been accused of being a Labour stooge by someone who, like yourself, doesn’t have the balls to use their real name. I would like to learn how this person reached this conclusion. C’est tout.

  • Montana Muse

    Goddam commie complaining that the state is still not doing enough for her.  I get it, she wants more feebees off TAX PAYERS who are a decreasing pool so she can take her egyptian pottery or sperm whale fart dynamics degree to the market and make funny money doing nothing.
    Off course she’ll do this in Australia.  No thank you, energy or vigour to do something to the country that has essentially fed her, protected her and subsidised her education from birth.
    Ask not what your country can do for you?
    I note she is also plump – hardly starving. Maybe she could knock off the big macs?

  • maninblack

    The left wing always just think other people should pay for everything.

    I was a student for 7 years, and worked the whole time and payed my way, and worked like hell over the summer to pay for fees.

    Now i have my own business, and use my eduction for this.

    I think its just typical of a poor attitude of the young lazy left.

    • Mike_baker

      After 7 years as a student you should be able to spell ‘payed’ and ‘eduction’ correctly……………….
      Or were you training to be a teacher ?

      • Tristanb

        There’s more to education than spelling.

      • AngryTory

        Naa, he went to a state school & state uni, the surprise is he can spell “business” at all!

      • maninblack

        Nar, didnt do english mate. Never been a good speller. Thank goodness for spell check.

    • Landy

      Well done.   Thank goodness for New Zealanders like you.
      Everybody using the complaint “no jobs” should learn from business self-starters.

      I suggest job-seekers should look for work needing doing, then figure out how they could do it, then figure out who are the clients who would pay for such work.

      Example, hedge clipping service.  Guttering cleaning service.  Indoor light fittings cleaning service.   Household extractor fan pickup and cleaning service.  Ironing service.

      Borrow tools at first.  Print off letter-boxers.  Analyse which areas have demand and can pay.  Buy receipt book.  Open bank account in business name.  Take requests for quotes by phone.  Do the quote.  Always act exactly as you said you would.  If possible, find a business mentor who will help with advice.

      Final point to be sure you are on the Success Path: 

      Be a straight, strong New Zealander and make sure you pay your taxes.  The IRD will advise if you ring them. 

  • Johnbronkhorst

    psychology……and this will get her a job doing what exactly??? Earning enough to pay back her student loan and the taxpayer for all the funding of the 80% of her degree? So she is as my dear old mother would put it….A PROFESSIONAL student. Not contributing or likely to contribute to the society that so kindly allowed her to do her, as good as useless, psychology degree!!!!!

  • Vlad

    Somebody with more skill might post a picture of John Hartevelt alongside a pic of Julian Assange, the wikileaks loon.  They look strikingly similar.  No tinfoil hat theories here, as Assange is a significant figure in worldwide left politics whereas Hartevelt is an inconsequential provincial typist, but I have been amused by the resemblance.

  • Jmac

    I’m doing my Master’s part/half time and doing 43hours of shift work. I’ll get it done in 4 years not 2-3 at that rate, but it’s doable and better than being on the ‘student dole’.

    • Vlad

      good for you jmac you will do well

    • excuse me

      Brilliant, Jmac! That kind of story reinforces my faith in our “real” youth – common sense, perseverance, and the guts to do it differently from the crowd.

      Stay the course, and good luck for deserved success in your life.

      • Jmac

        Thank you both, I appreciate that.
        I did my bachelors full time while working 24-40hours a week as well. The reality is, is that most full time students really ought to be able to work part time. The loss of student allowances for postgrad students shouldn’t be considered a great loss. After meeting a guy who was studying full time at Masters level, working 40hours a week, and supporting 6 kids with no WFF, I realised it was time to buck up and just get to work. Studying at the tertiary level is a privilege not a right.

  • David

    You would think Stuff would have a look at the background considering how many times they have been caught shilling for Labour. If someone tucked me up like that I would be furious but clearly the MSM think it’s more important to get whingers in their rag rather than do what they are paid to do.
    I love the English papers where they actually investigate the stories and hang bludgers out to dry as well as the government.

    • Steve (North Shore)

      Stuff probably don’t know anyone who is a National supporter.
      Prepare for Caitlin Davies to have a good old bitch any time soon

    • Jester

      Interestingly I listened to Michael Laws on budget day make the comment that he had received a mass email sent from a repeater asking for anyone who was negatively affected by the budget cuts to early childhood to respond to the email.

      Laws rightly made the comment that the repeater wasn’t looking for positively affected people only negatively affected.

      Just shook my head and murmured to myself…” that would be fucking typical”

  • Blokeintakapuna

    Stuff … OWN GOAL!

    Stuff… what little remaining credibility they had is now evaporated…

    Surely there must be a “Journalistic Award” equivalent to a “Darwin Award” and this article and so called reporter would win it?

    I hope John’s colleagues are having a huge laugh at him over this. John – they are laughing at you… not with you – AT you!

    Feeble journalistic integrity… enough to make the BSA cringe in embarassement!

  • KT

    Note in the pic they are drinking Miller beer and her Facebook has a stack of other photos across  the US… so she’s struggling so bad that she has had to go on booze fueled overseas holidays. Never heard of such shocking poverty.

    • Caitlindavies04

      and the evidence that I was drinking Miller beer is where? just because its on the table??  I never drunk Miller beer and that “booze-fueled overseas holiday” was actually a student exchange where I paid my normal university fees (via student loan) and did not receive student allowance while I was there…I used my savings from working since I was 16 to pay for that (savings I had because I didn’t spend it on alcohol, McDonalds, partying or anything else as people are suggesting!)….I’m sorry I am not a starving university student that can’t even afford to live properly, or have any experiences that us on low incomes shouldn’t be able to afford….

      apologies for having some fun in life…

      • Phar Lap

         So whaleoil is on the button.You can run but you cant hide.Show us your company and we will tell you what you are.Now is there anything else we should know.

      • Pukakidon


        We accept you apology. 

  • Petal

    Well done Cam.


    These manufactured stories just keep on back firing eh?  Long may they keep it up :)

  • Michael

    Funny, my wife had to borrow to live while studying for BBS under Labours rule (almost paid it back). Both Labour and National cock it up all the time. When it comes to the subject of students and the cost of study, no one has it right and nope I don’t have any pearls of wisdom other than it’s all fucked and who ever gets to try to fix it is going to get burt. 

  • Patrick Leyland

    Hi Cameron

    I can tell you for a fact that Caitlin Davies is not in that photo. I actually took the photo, and know all of the volunteers there – none answer to the name Caitlin.

    I’ve checked my records, and she was not part of Grant’s campaign at all.


    Patrick Leyland
    Grant Robertson’s Campaign Manager, 2011

    • KT

      isn’t she in the middle? The les in the red jacket with the megaphone? lol

    • Steve (North Shore)
    • Thank you Patrick…for confirming that. Nice of Caitlin to “like” Grant’s FB page though…not bad for someone she has never met.

      • So am I  gonna have to watch out who I “like” – bummer – there’s plenty of folk and comments I’ve liked on facebook and indeed “friended” just to know another viewpoint – doesn’t mean I – oh whatever……

      • Fozzie

         Oh wa’il – chasing shadows again I see… how about some commentry on the real news ….. like the govt backing away from it’s crazy education cuts and McCully nicking a mere $6m to pay for party central….

  • Caitlindavies04

    I am Caitlin Davies and I am in no way affiliated with the Labour party! that is not me in the picture with the signs and I have never met Grant Robertson! I have no connection at all to Labour and I do not waste my money on drinking and partying.  I have drunk less than 10 times in my whole life (and a number of people could back me up on this) and I have NEVER been drunk so your whole story is completely fabricated!

    • Phar Lap

       Yeah, pull the other leg its got shamrocks on it.

    • TravisPoulson

      That was a quick response Caitlin, who alerted you, Grant?

      • TravisPoulson

        Or Patrick??

      • S J Parton

        Someone mentioned Whale Oil in the Dom Post’s comments section, suggesting that Caitlin is a Labour ‘stooge’. Caitlin didn’t need to be alerted by anyone in the Labour Party. You Whale Oil folk are pretty tiresome with your shoddy research skills. Makes me think hmmm, no post-grad study has been going down here.

      • TravisPoulson

        Open your eyes and read my comment again Dolly.

      • S J Parton

        Apologies, Travis, that comment was in response to your deleted ones. I’m sweet as with folks changing their minds when presented with the irrefutable evidence. (no relation, BTW, but will take it as a compliment)

      • TravisPoulson

        No worries S J Parton, I’m just calling it as I see it, I may be right, I may be wrong, but I’ll go by my own perspective not someone else’s. I just jumped the gun. Cheers.  

    • Steve (North Shore)

      So it is you in the photo with 3 other girls right?

    • AngryTory

      heh heh heh. 

      another spammer to ban, cam.

    • Except Caitlin you “Like” Grant Robertson’ FB page, and are in campaign photos with him.

    • In Vino Veritas

      Caitlin, I am prepared to take you at your word about any Labour connections. However, the story in which you appear shows how niave you in fact are. To say that “If we’d had warning, our decision-making would have been different” is just a random bleat. Life is like this all the time. One doesn’t get warning of negative things that happen. People buy houses with mortgages and are then made redundant. Life is tough and always has been. Bite the bullet and get on with it. As an alternative to using taxpayer money, you could of course, do what students used to have to do, borrow from the bank. But then, you’d have to pay it back quicker than a student loan, and oh, you’d also have to pay back the interest.

    • Landy

      Nevertheless, you went on a student-exchange jaunt to the USA, you presumably got an undergraduate degree, and then you complained publicly that the taxpayer was ending your higher study support-funds loan.

      You would expect the people who were paying to grumble, wouldn’t you?

      Clearly your undergraduate degree did not cover punctuation or grammar, so let’s hope it was in something useful that will earn you the money to pay the taxpayer back.  And a modest, grateful, scholarly attitude would be nice, not silly statements about The Right To Have Fun.

      I paid for my study, often working at the same time, sometimes in multiple jobs.  There were no student allowances or loans then, you see.

  • S J Parton

    ^ So Cameron, looks like you owe a certain journalist an apology, hmmm? Not to mention a hardworking teetotaling young student who likes to make a funny face for the camera. Seems that Mr Hartevelt’s fact-checking is in order while yours, well, let’s say it makes sense that you have your very own blog, with no tiresome editors, eh?

    • Ben

      How is being hardworking implicit here? It’s a psychology degree remember. 

  • Steve (North Shore)

    Only one post from Caitlindavies04 so far, some kneejerk supporters then quiet.
    Lots of names I have never seen before

    • TravisPoulson

      But Steve, I’m not seeing the proof that she was associated with the labour party, or posing in the photo with Grant Robertson. Just calling it as I see it.

  • S J Parton

    Okay, so according to you, Cameron Slater, liking a facebook page is akin to belonging to a political party? Weak.

    • TravisPoulson

      See Cameron’s edit of the main post. 

      • S J Parton

        I don’t know Caitlin Davies, but ‘liking’ someone’s facebook page doesn’t, to me, suggest any actual affiliation with that person’s political party. Plenty of folks ‘like’ political figure’s pages so that they can comment on threads etc. I’m still feeling like this is pretty crappy ill-informed reporting on C Slater’s part.

  • S J Parton

    If I like a band’s page, can I be in that band? Please? Or a film? I always wanted to be in the movies… maybe if I like Jim Jarmusch on facebook I can be in one of his films. That would be grand.

  • Steve (North Shore)

    Looks like there is an explaination, please continue Parton

    • S J Parton

       An explanation for what, Steve? I’m not in any of Jim Jarmusch’s films. :(

      • S J Parton


  • S J Parton

    Waiting for you to admit that you should just leave the ‘story behind the story’ stuff up to the Mediawatch team. Or even TVNZ’s Sunday. Really, you’re way better at the Women’s Weekly/Life & Style pieces that focus on your personal issue with silly first names, and similar drivel.

    • SJ00

      From Stuff article:
      Another affected student, Sarah Jane Parton, had planned to continue up-skilling with postgraduate study next year but will now not carry on.

      “To me, it seems like they’re relegating higher education to the people who are either independently wealthy or are so bright they can get a scholarship,” Ms Parton said.


      I guess instead of carrying on studying, you will just have another trip to Berlin like last year? Thats what the poor people do right? Please don’t cry to the country you have no money to study but can go overseas. 
      Oh wait, more than 1 trip, maybe its Rarotonga you are going back to? No? Perth? No? the USA again? Warsaw?
      That is alot of travel for a poor student in 2 or 3 years, who now can’t afford to study. Maybe, you should have saved that money, and used it for your education, and then traveled? Hmmmm?
      I don’t care if you are a Labour party plant or not, it seems you are a just big fat liar who complains because the lifestyle they are used to, sucking money from the taxpayer, has just dried up. I don’t like those kinds of people. But I suspect from the amount of two faced lying you are doing, you support the Greens or Labour……no?

      • S J Parton

        Hi there. Nice to see you doing some research. Yes, I have worked for the last ten years, and traveled heaps. I don’t know how you have determined that I traveled the world on ‘the taxpayer’s dime’ (dime!). I graduated from uni a decade ago. And worked. My partner also works. Right now he works part time and has the kids part time while I study. There you go – full disclosure.
        Did you look at my facebook? Lurvely.
        Came home from Europe last year, applied for and interviewed for jobs without success, realised I needed to upskill, was accepted into a Masters degree, and here I am now, halfway through. Did I mention that I worked all the way through my undergrad? And Honours? Multiple jobs. But times have changed, there are less jobs, I have two kids, and I do not feel any guilt about getting the student allowance for this stage in my education. And yes, I do vote Green and Labour. Because only a heartless person wouldn’t. But that doesn’t make me a ‘Labour plant’.

      • la la land

        I’m sorry S J Parton but the tax payer owes you nothing. I have 4 children and have just completed a 5 year degree. It took me 10 years as I worked part time and studied part time. I received nothing from the government aside from a loan to cover my course costs. I suggest you get a job to cover your expenses.

      • SJ00

        I didn’t say you traveled on the tax payers dime, and don’t get me wrong, I not having a go at you for traveling and living life. I just don’t think its fair you complain to the public you can’t afford an education now, because we stop giving you money for it, yet you certainly don’t seem to be poor. 

        I don’t think you did mention you worked through your undergrad, and well done on that. I put myself through Uni as well, 5 years, and didn’t get a student loan, an allowance, or anything else that was on offer. I actually had zero interest in Uni and found the courses pathetic and couldn’t see how it was going to get me a job (and it didn’t really).

        Not much point in saying there are not jobs out there, there are, plenty of them. There may not be a job where you can apply your degree, but I am sure you could a job doing something, as a uni grad you have a better chance than the current crop of geniuses who ‘txt spk’ and skills include dope smoking and PS3 playing. 

        The ironic thing is, now that you can’t afford to study, you will need to get a job. And now its a catch-22 as you need to study to get a job, and now you can’t study, you need to get a job, and if you can’t get a job, you will need to study..

        One doesn’t need to feel guilty on taking an offer (an allowance) when it is available to you. The question should be, should that allowance be available. Personally, I don’t think we should be paying people to do things they choose to do (study, sit on their fat arse etc). 

        Yip I did look at your facebook as well (yeah I know, its creepy, but anyone can do that, facebook stalking is a whole other topic). You were the only SJP that came up though, so you are fairly unique :) And its nice to have you here providing decent comments and pointing your side forward. Usually the people that come here to defend themselves are the neo-nazi 22 year old female in-bred who tried to get her $500 hour lawyer to sue Cam, or the port workers who had a cry cos Cam was being mean. 

        My question is, how did you end up in this article? I suspect the author didn’t ring you up out of the blue, that either yourself or someone put your name forward. Which usually means we get one side of a story that is being pushed to drive an agenda. We all love the MSM here, and never trust a word they say, especially biased articles like this one. 

      • Mencancook

        In reply to S J Parton and their comment ‘Yes I do vote green and labour because only a heartless person wouldn’t’ personifies Churchill exactly ”

        “If you’re not a liberal at twenty you have no heart, if you’re not a conservative at forty you have no brain.”

  • Grizz30

    This is why I do not have a facebook page. People cannot use my social media content as a weapon to discredit me. As a non-facebook user, I might not be up with the play here, but if Whale and co here can read, for instance, Mallard’s facebook entries and post them here, does that not mean they are “Facebook Friends”.

    As for the Student Allowances issue. I mean like, get a life. What makes you so special. I got nothing from the Government while studying. I got little parental support. I racked up a huge student loan during my degree. In my day loans even accumulated interest while studying. I never got write-offs and 10% repayment subsidies. However I paid it off. With overtime and additional payments I got rid of it ASAP. Given my experience when I hear people whining about student loans and allowances I get turned off immediately. They can be paid off and compared to my exerience, you have never had it so easy.

    • AngryTory

       I got nothing from the Government while studying.

      Bullshit. If you were studying in NZ then at least 3/4 of your course costs were paid by the govt. And I bet you didn’t have comprehensive private health cover, that you went to state schools, kindy & Plunket.  If you’re young your parents got WFF, if you’re old they got family benefit.

      NZ. National of bludgers.

      • Grizz30

        Granted, I did have my tuition subsidised, but had to pay fees just like now. However while studying I could not access student allowances or accomodation supplements. I had to pay living costs myself. I was around in the era befre WFF and as for family benefit, that was stopped when I was 12. Even then it was nothing, about 6 dollars a child per week.

        The point I am trying to make is that I did not expect or get a handout when at university. I just got on with it and got busy paying off my student loan when started working.

      • Mediaan

        Stupid generalising. Allowances and subsidies have varied enormously over the years.
        You can’t make sensible comments criticising another person’s story without even knowing the years they are talking about.

        Kindy, that’s quite recent. Maybe there were little upper stratum kindies earlier than about 1970 but I doubt it.

        Plunket and “health” services mostly exist to pour money to the oil companies via the pharmaceutical companies, all foreign.

  • Guest

    Shes telling porkies

  • Admin

    Hmm.  Much though I like WO and the amusement his frothing army brings me, I do think you’ve been pwned here lads. 1/10,must try harder.

  • Landy

    Sarah Jane Parton says she worked during study, her partner works (part-time, he appears to be a popular musician), and she came back from overseas and couldn’t get a job so needed upskilling, so is doing more study, which is why she is protesting against the government restrictions on money for higher degrees.

    Your undergrad degree was in “time-art”.  Is that the focus of your post-grad work?

    From what I have seen of it after a quick flick through websites, you have had some gallery exhibitions, but the actual work is uninteresting to the point of being mind-numbingly frightful. 

    How much has your “work” earned then?  Anyone private buying it? 

    And what was all this work you have done?
    I mean, other than uni-teaching the same “time art” that probably milked the Helen Clark arts funding regime (under which state-sponsored “artists” were paid to create awful stuff, then government entities were pressured to buy it)?  

    I take it you mean time-art pieces that you exhibit, and things like album covers for pop groups with no money.  

    I have for 30 years collected New Zealand art.  I’m interested.  

    Got plans to support your family with it, have you?  

    Because if you haven’t that’s not work.   Work is to support yourself and your family, and assist in building society.

    • S J Parton

      Yep, Landy, I know it’s crazy, but I have sold my art. To private collectors with reputable collections. It’s all there on the net somewhere. Taste must truly be a subjective thing, huh? I’ve also worked in both the public and private sectors. Time-based art has given me transferable skills, and I’ve done all sorts of things, mainly as a contractor/freelancer (although I did spend a year working as a community coordinator – also on the net).

      I don’t plan on living off the sale of my art (that would be an unrealistic expectation for any 32 year old artist in NZ), anymore than a scientist plans to live off the sale of their experiments – it’s the peripheral stuff that earns the money, in my experience. That and utilising one’s skills across the board.

      I believe my partner and I have been incredibly lucky – we experienced great success in the arts that meant we could support our family for a decade. Can you really fault me for taking the time out to study when I was unable to find work? What would you have done if you couldn’t find work? Worked as a cleaner rather than enrolling in a post-grad qual to upskill? That seems a bit short-sighted. Would you have refused the allowance even though it was a great means to an end? Or would you have taken it, but then been really totally stoked that when you found a way to move forward, the govt changed the rules and that avenue was no longer an option? I bet you would have been so happy to hear that your allowance would be cut. Woohoo, you would have said.

      Finally, thanks for your concern about my career, and your engaged critique of my work! I figure you must be at least 20 years older than me, which means that, should you have studied, your tertiary education was free or mostly subsidised. With that in mind, I think you should probably speak a little quieter and with a little less sense of your own self-importance. Just saying.

      • Mediaan

        Try 40.

        No, there were no allowances or loans or giveaways when I studied. I worked at ordinary jobs. The story about ” the old got it free” are not true. Furthermore, I recall one year having to find tuition fees of about 125 quid. My wage then was around eight quid/week. I lived in a room for two quid/week.

        Furthermore, a malevolent lazy stupid left wing student executive used to make us pay Student Union fees that were huge, even though the poorest students couldn’t possibly have had time to use the bars and lounges and gyms and…

        The difference between you and me is that I pursued study in areas that would earn a living, needed skills.

  • S J Parton

    Hi SJ00,
    To answer your question: Grant Robertson is my MP, I saw on his facebook page a post about the changes to student allowances in the Budget. I had heard a bit about it, but when I saw it in detail I was shocked and facebooked him to ask how it would affect me. He told me, and I was gutted. He then contacted me later to say that he had spoken to a journalist at the Dom who was looking for folks to talk to about the changes. I didn’t think I’d be the best candidate, given that I’m not a typical student, but my classmates (in my MA course) really encouraged me to say something, because they all felt we needed someone to represent us. So I spoke to John Hartevelt on the phone about the whole thing.
    Yes, my initial connection to the story was via my MP, who I do know from my time working at the local community centre (he’s a regular volunteer), going to gigs, and through some friends at the local pre-school. He’s a very nice guy.
    But I don’t belong to any political party. I’d say Labour’s a little too centre-right for me in its current incarnation (but a better option than National). I’m definitely not a ‘stooge’!