“The number of international students coming to New Zealand is just 4.5 per cent of pre-COVID levels, versus 38 per cent in Australia. No wonder Kiwi Universities are planning to dump staff by the hundred,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Covid restrictions should have been dropped six months ago. Anybody can lock a country down, it’s reconnecting that’s hard, and some academics will now pay for Labour’s failure with their jobs.

“It’s not just that we’re slow. Educators in other countries are benefiting from our tardiness. Kiwi universities have to watch their Aussie counterparts reaping the benefits of how slow Labour’s been to reopen New Zealand.

“It’s no wonder that just last week there were headline that AUT was proposing to axe 230 jobs. Universities rely on income from international students.

“The value these students can bring is not just economic, but also social. They broaden the horizons of our Kiwi students and become lifelong ambassadors for New Zealand.

“ACT said six months ago it was time to move on from Covid restrictions. Sadly now, these numbers show the long term damage that is setting in.”

More from

David Seymour