The Society of St Vincent de Paul received a mention in Parliament during debate on the Government’s 2019 Budget.
Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi referred to the society in a speech on June 13.
Speaking about the Government’s decision to scrap NCEA fees, announced in May, Mr Faafoi said “it’s the little things that mean a lot to a family that is struggling to make ends meet. That is certainly the case when it comes to my electorate (Mana), around NCEA fees”.
He then referred to a letter he received from Margaret Baker on behalf of a Society of St Vincent de Paul group in his electorate. He read the letter out loud to the house.
It read: “Dear Mr Faafoi — as the branch of the Society of St Vincent de Paul based at St Theresa’s Church in Plimmerton, we are writing to say that we applaud your Government’s decision to scrap exam fees for students at secondary schools in the upcoming round of NCEA exams. We deal all the time with families who are struggling in the Porirua basin and know that this
will be one area which will make a big difference to both pupils and parents. Could you please convey our thoughts to your colleagues.”
According to the NZQA website, the decision means schools no longer need to collect fees from around 168,000 New Zealand domestic students, or students from the Cook Islands and Niue, who are entering for NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship.
Any fees already collected from these students for 2019 will be refunded by schools.
Fees still have to be paid by international students.
Entry fees were reportedly $76.70 for all NCEA standards, with $30 extra for each NZ Scholarship subject on top. Fees were capped at $200 per student.
Previously, Community Services card holders and parents receiving a Work and Income or Studylink benefit could apply for assistance to reduce the fee to $20, or for families with two or more children who are NCEA candidates, a maximum of $30 per family.