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New Zealand makes offer to Niue, Cooks, Tokelau

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, March 2, 2010) – Students from Niue, Tokelau and the Cook Islands attending universities or tertiary institutions in New Zealand can now qualify for interest-free student loans.

The requirement is that they have to be present in one of those countries for at least 183 consecutive days.

The New Zealand Revenue Minister, Peter Dunne, says it’s appropriate given the special relationship New Zealand has with Niue, Cook Islands and Tokelau that they have the same opportunities as New Zealand based students in terms of student loans.

He says the hope is that when they complete their studies they will return home and use these studies to the benefit of their own country.

"A lot of students from those countries already come to New Zealand to study here and to gain qualifications which they want to use back in their own country and we think that this is a very positive step that we can take towards assisting that process and also just furthering the wider relationship between New Zealand and those countries."

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