Legislation enabling New Zealanders to access student loans (HELP) only came into effect from 1 January 2016.
11 June 2013
Media release by former Tertiary Education Minister Craig Emerson
New Zealanders who grow up in Australia will become eligible for the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) for tertiary education or vocational training.
This means thousands of young people who until now had no access to student loans for university study will be able to apply for the assistance.
From 1 January 2015, New Zealanders with Special Category Visas will be eligible for HELP if they first entered Australia as a dependent minor aged under 18 years at least 10 years before applying; have been resident in Australia for 80 per cent of the last 10 years; and have been resident in Australia for 18 months of the last two years at the time of application.
Tertiary Education Minister Craig Emerson said today extending HELP to these New Zealanders was part of the Gillard Government’s commitment to making higher education available to a growing number of people in Australia.
“Australia and New Zealand have a famously close friendship. Helping these young students participate fully in Australia’s tertiary education system will only strengthen that bond between our nations,” Dr Emerson said.
“Until now, New Zealanders who arrived as children have been missing out on HELP for upfront study costs.
“This change will help those students participate fully in the workforce and maximise their contribution to the Australian economy.”
The Government will contribute $10.6 million over the next four years towards the initiative.
Joint Statement by Prime Minister Abbott & Prime Minister Key (7 February 2014)
Some New Zealanders became eligible for HELP Loans from 1 January 2016.