Millions in hardship cash was never paid out to students
The government announced the NZ$20 million hardship fund for learners in 2020 to help students buy digital devices and get online. Of the NZ$19.5 million allocated to 120 organisations in the 2020-21 financial year, only NZ$17 million was actually given to students. Late last year a further NZ$20 million was pumped into the fund, which the government said could be used to help students facing any kind of hardship that interfered with their ability to study, including technology-related costs for remote learning.
The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) says the “inaccessible” process meant money is “sitting in a bank account”. Andrew Lessells, president of NZUSA, said the Tertiary Education Commission, which allocates the money to education providers, operated a “high-trust model” but had “no concrete claw-back scheme” to ensure unused money was returned.
Full report on the Stuff site