NZ glitch causes 22,000 incorrect student contracts : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Winz makes new slip-up University fears chaos

by Diana McCurdy

Canterbury University fears bedlam after the latest student loan bungle that resulted in 22,000 tertiary students nationwide receiving incorrect contracts.

More problems surfaced yesterday when the university received mail from Work and Income New Zealand intended for individual students, but addressed to the university.

On Tuesday night, it was discovered that a computer glitch had resulted in 22,000 incorrect loan contracts being sent out to students throughout New Zealand.

Most wrongly showed North Island students enrolled at Canterbury University.

Winz took over administering the student loans system in January this year. It experienced similar problems when it took over student allowances in October 1998.

In an e-mail to Canterbury University staff yesterday, university manager of administrative services Linda East said the error would have "a big effect on the cash flow of the university" because tuition fees would come in later than usual.

Mrs East cited the example of 43 law professionals students who had attempted to enrol on 24 January.

In previous years, they would have been enrolled in 24 hours, but 16 had encountered delays and six had still not yet been enrolled.

"If this percentage is anything to go by then next week is going to be bedlam," Mrs East said.

Students whose enrolment was delayed by Winz problems would not be charged the usual late fee, but would experience difficulty accessing some student services.

Yesterday, Winz apologised to students, blaming the error on a recent computer upgrade.

The department said the problem had been fixed and asked students to correct their contracts and return them.

Winz student services national manager Lorraine Williams assured students it would not affect the processing of their loan contracts.

Christchurch Polytechnic Students' Association president June Tam said many students had experienced delays of up to eight weeks, before the latest mistake had occurred.

She had already had students asking for support from food banks.

ACT MP Muriel Newman called on Minister of Social Services and Employment Steve Maharey to state whether he still had confidence in Winz chief executive Christine Rankin.

Last month, Mr Maharey said he was pleased to see Winz had "got its systems performing better this year".

-- Martin Thompson (, February 09, 2000


URL for above article.

-- Martin Thompson (, February 09, 2000.

Winz fouls up again: student loans late

18.02.2000 - By BRONWYN SELL

Students relying on student loans to pay fees and rent are panicking as classes and bills loom with no money in sight.


Delays in processing loan applications, which emerged at Canterbury University early this week, have moved up the country as enrollments started to peak in Auckland and Hamilton yesterday.

Students have been unable to pay fees because of delays in getting loans, which Work and Income New Zealand is handling for the first time this year.

Most universities and other institutions are letting affected students attend classes anyway, but students and staff are frustrated that the Winz problem is hindering the start of the semester.

The University of Auckland skirted the problem by deciding this week to enrol affected students if they have applied for a loan to pay their fees.


Registrar Warwick Nicoll said Auckland University's first concern was for the students, but if the loans did not arrive to pay fees for five more weeks there could be problems. The head of enrolments at Waikato University, Wayne Clark, thinks about 800 students are affected.

"Students are keen to become enrolled so they can plan their tutorials, plan their timetables, pay their bonds on their student accommodation, set up babysitting facilities, advise employers, etc. "And they cannot because of the delays. They don't know when they will be getting money, or how much they will be getting, and that causes frustration."

The Auckland University of Technology is allowing nonenrolled students to attend classes, but students' association president Michael Heard said many were struggling to live.

Students had been told applications would take three weeks, but some had applied as early as November and still had no loans.

Unitec president Dr John Webster said he hoped student allowances would not be delayed as well, as they had been last year when Winz took over responsibility for them.

"I think Winz just bit off more than it could chew."

* In another glitch this week, Winz deposited $2936 destined for the Waikato Polytechnic into its students' association bank account. The association said the mistake was funny, but demonstrated the incompetence of Winz.

The New Zealand Herald

http://www.nzher storyID=118704&thesection=news&thesubsection=general

-- Lee Maloney (, February 20, 2000.

(Another early report)

Fears of debacle on student loans


WELLINGTON - Student leaders fear that the administration of student loans under Work and Income New Zealand will be a disaster.


Winz had processed 95 per cent of loan applications, leaving 2000 needing further verification. Last month, computer problems delayed more than 100 summer allowance applications. storyID=111081

-- Lee Maloney (, February 20, 2000.

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