Te Hautū Kahurangi | New Zealand Tertiary Education Union (TEU) congratulates Andrew Lessells on his appointment as New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) National President for 2021. The election took place last Friday at an NZUSA Special General Meeting (SGM) in Wellington.

Andrew Lessells, 22, was elected to serve as the National President for 2021. He was President for the Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT) Students’ Association, Younited, from 2019 to 2020, and is only the second Polytechnic representative to be elected as National President in NZUSA’s almost 100-year history.

“It’s an immense privilege to have been elected and to be able to represent the 400,000 students learning across all of Aotearoa” says Lessells.

“Right now, students are struggling. They have lost jobs due to COVID-19 and are dropping out of study because they cannot afford to live. As National President, I will fight for a Universal Education Income so that ākonga don’t have to choose between a degree or food in their stomach”.

Prior to his appointment, Lessells was heavily involved in NZUSA, chairing the Finance Risk and Audit Committee (FRAC), steering the 2020 Governance Review, and playing a pivotal role in the Reform of Vocational Education (RoVE) as NZUSA’s RoVE Project Lead in 2019.

Andrew Lessells commenced his role immediately after the SGM election on Friday 15th January, allowing National Vice President Liam Davies to step down as Acting National President and resume his elected position.

Incoming TEU Tumu Whakarae | National President Tina Smith says she is and the team at TEU are looking forward to working with Andrew, adding,

“Like Andrew and students across the country, we at TEU share a concern for staff and student wellbeing at a time when many across Aotearoa are struggling. Staff conditions of work are students’ conditions of learning, and it’s important TEU and NZUSA continue working together to highlight this fact”.