15 Jul 2008

National urges closer look at foreign student assault case

8:06 pm on 15 July 2008

The National Party says a case in which a home stay host has been charged with assaulting a foreign student should be more thoroughly investigated.

A Hokitika man will appear in the Greymouth District Court on 22 July, charged with assault. The incident involved a 15-year-old Chinese student.

National 's spokesperson on international education, Pansy Wong, says the matter should also be referred to the International Education Appeals Authority, an organisation set up to enforce a code of practice governing international students.

Ms Wong says the student in the Hokitika case, Ziyu Qian, has already written to the authority and she will also urge it to investigate.

She says this would establish whether the code of practice was adhered to and would also show that New Zealand takes the welfare of its international students seriously.

Education New Zealand says there are more than 15,000 international students in New Zealand this year.