Greens promise universal post-graduate allowance

Green leader James Shaw.
Green leader James Shaw. Photo credit: Getty

The Greens are promising to introduce a universal post-graduate allowance and boost the student allowance by 20 percent.

"The rise in the cost of living and higher rents are making life increasingly hard for students, and the Green Party has a plan to fix that," leader James Shaw said.

Mr Shaw and Green candidate Chloe Swarbrick announced the party's student support policy at Otago University on Wednesday morning. 

"This will reverse National's short-sighted cuts and help encourage more students into post-graduate study, which we need if we are going to grow a smart, innovative economy," Mr Shaw said.

The Greens want to gradually make all student allowances universal, and the party is backing Labour's promise of three years of free tertiary education. 

The post-graduate allowance was scrapped by National in 2013, and currently tertiary students doing further study have to borrow or pay for their living costs on their own.

Earlier this year National announced it would boost the student allowance by $20, but it has no plans to re-instate the post-graduate allowance.

Labour promised to restore the post-graduate allowance and boost both the student allowance and living costs by $50.