What is the situation for Australians? Their earnings threshold, before any student loan repayments are required, is A$53,345. At that level of earnings, student loan payments are only 4% of the amount earned above the threshold. The maximum deduction is 8% and this is for earnings of more than A$99,070 a year.
There are many countries where tertiary education is free. Obviously it's not free in Australia, but their repayment system is much fairer than ours, especially to people just starting out in the workforce after finishing their studies, and to economically disadvantaged groups. If New Zealand wants to build an internationally competitive knowledge economy something needs to change.