Switched on: Otago University Students' Association leader
Logan Edgar says if the numbers stack up he would prefer
the OUSA to buy shares in state-owned electricity companies
rather than endorse a campaign to stop government asset
The generation gap is now a gulf - a gulf of dismay.
Local Grey Power president Jo Millar has been told the Otago
University Students' Association (OUSA) would not march with
senior citizens protesting government asset sales.
Instead, OUSA president Logan Edgar is considering using
student money to buy shares in state-owned power companies.
Mrs Millar was deeply disappointed when she heard the news.
‘‘I don't know whether the students really understand,'' Mrs
‘‘I really don't know whether they have researched it
The Otago branch of senior citizens advocacy group Grey Power
is organising a public march along George St in the middle of
next month to protest the Government's planned partial sale
of four energy companies and the sale of Air NZ.
Mrs Millar hoped it would have the same high level of public
support given to last year's marches to retain neurosurgery
services in Dunedin.
The nationwide Keep Our Assets campaign - involving protest
marches and a petition seeking a referendum on the sales -
has input from a variety of organisations including Grey
Power and the New Zealand University Students Association
On Tuesday, Mrs Millar had had no replies to her emails
seeking a meeting with OUSA representatives, but was still
hoping to include students in the planned protest.
Students were ‘‘our grandchildren'' and Grey Power members
wanted to work with them ‘‘so they can understand how we are
trying to protect their future'', she said.
But, when contacted by The Star, Mr Edgar said he had ‘‘no
interest whatsoever'' in the protest.
OUSA would look to invest in shares when the assets were put
up for sale, Mr Edgar said.
‘‘We'd do it to keep some lights on for studying students and
to keep them [the energy companies] New Zealand-owned,'' he
Mr Edgar said he and other OUSA members were meeting bank
advisers today to discuss investment options. He did not know
how much money OUSA had available to invest.
The results of an informal OUSA online survey of student
opinion on the asset sales was ‘‘not heavily weighted one way
or the other''.
Mrs Millar said the OUSA response was ‘‘not going to stop me
one little bit''.
She questioned whether the decision was supported by most
‘‘Has there been a majority decision saying they don't want
to take part?'' she said.
‘‘Any university students who want to join the march are more
NZUSA president Pete Hodkinson, of Wellington, said his
organisation had ‘‘frozen all comment on asset sales'' until
after a board meeting next week.