Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Compulsory AUSA pays student's explosive fine

From the archives - The Press, 18 March 1994

"Fined Auck student has costs paid by association

An Auckland University student fined for possession of explosives during a protest last year has had his costs paid by the Students' Association, an anti-student union group said yesterday.

The Auckland University Students' Association was forced to reverse its decision to pay $191.25 to the National Party and $244.20 to the police for damage caused by a student during a Budget day demonstration last year.

A legal opinion found that the payments had been unconstitutional.

The Freedom on Campus Network, set up by a member of the Young Nationals to seek the abolition of compulsory student unionism, released details of the arrest of a student, Mr John Hutton, for possession of an explosive (a flare) and intentional damage during a protest march.

Mr Hutton is the former chairman of AUSA's student representation committee and a former member of the association's executive....

Police records show Mr Hutton was dealt with under the police diversion scheme, after agreeing to apologise to the National Party for throwing paint at the party headquarters and on police uniforms, make reparation, and do 75 hours community service.

The Auckland student president, Mr Cyrus Richardson, said the association felt partly responsible for Mr Hutton's actions since it had organised the march, which got "a little bit out of hand"....

A spokesman for the Freedom on Campus Network, which has backed a private member's Bill from National MP Mr Michael Laws to have compulsory students' association membership abolished, said students should be outraged.

"Students do not pay fees on the understanding that they will be used to pay fines for people admitting guilt of criminal activity," Mr Nick Langley said."

A classic example of compulsory student association abuse - National-voting students forced to pay money to an organisation that defends people who break the law protesting against the party they support.

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