Winston: volunteer for 5 years of slavery in the regions and have your student loan wiped

Winston Peters is proposing something novel, though I’m not sure how well it would be received.

Winston Peters is proposing a loan write-off for students who work for five years in regions where there’s a labour shortage.

And immigrants would get points if they’re prepared to live in the provinces.

The NZ First leader set out these policies in a speech at a public meeting in Gore today.

“We would write off student loans in areas where there are critical regional shortages,” he said.

“Graduates spending five years in such a programme would have their student loan written off, and after five years many of them will want to stay in that region.”

Sounds reasonable…but:

Mr Peters said his party’s immigration policies would bring in people the country needed.

“We will maximise points for those who are prepared to go to the provinces,” he said.

“That is uniquely our policy and on this issue every other party is tainted by their record.”

Mr Peters told his audience the provinces weren’t getting a fair go.

“You might be surprised to learn that Northland is in the top half of the exporting provinces and at the bottom of the income decile,” he said.

“You are at the very top of the export earning provinces but none of that is reflected in your income decile either.”

So basically you have to work in areas where there are few job prospects, and even less in wages…for five years and you can get your student loan wiped.

I guess the only people who would consider this would be people with low income prospects anyway.

Still it’s an idea. I have no idea how they could enforce it though, or even measure it. Perhaps Winston is suggesting GPS bracelets for all of his new loan serfs?



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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

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